Boone County enacts “Frost Law” to save roads

BOONE CO., Ind. (WISH) – The weather is taking its toll on Indiana roadways.

In Fishers, the Department of Public Works started limiting truck traffic along Atlantic Road from the 12000 block to 126th due to deteriorating conditions. Now Boone County is enacting its “Frost Law.”

The law has been on the books since the 1960s. It requires operators of vehicles weighing over 12 tons to obtain a special permit that allows the driver to use the county roads between January 1st and May 1st each yer.

The law is rarely enforced. However, due to the extreme winter weather this year, County Commissioners have asked the Highway Department and Sheriff’s Department to enforce the law from March 10th thru May 1.

“If somebody comes in and they want to run stone for a day, they can get a one day permit. But we are not going to give them a permit for the full time. We are trying to cut down on the amount of trucks for that full period” said Kathy Jedwabny, Boone County Highway Department.

The law will require farmers and school districts and anyone else who runs a 24,000 pound vehicle to apply for and obtain a permit.

Across the street from the highway department, the folks at Bane-Welker Equipment, a farming equipment store, say they will be applying for the permit.

Store manager Jim Robinson says his drivers deliver large, heavy tractors and other machines everyday.

“Our roads, a lot of them are in poor shape. We don’t want to do anymore damage to them than we have too. At the same time, farmers need their machinery coming into the spring to get ready to plant this crop. We are already behind schedule with the weather running as it is now” said Robinson.

The Boone County Highway Department says a number of businesses have already applied for the permit. The highway department superintendent reviews each permit individually.

The Sheriff’s department will be enforcing the frost law. Violators can be fined up to $100.

We checked around with other counties in Central Indiana. Only one, Montgomery County, has similar restrictions. Hendricks County issues restrictions only on a case by case, or road by road basis. Hamilton County has load limits, but they have nothing to do with the weather.

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