Class II Road Restrictions begin statewide Saturday, February 3, 2024, at 12:01 AM CST.
Roadway weight restrictions go into effect during the springtime freezing and thawing period, typically from early March until the second week in May. (The 36 year average beginning date for this period is March 10 and the average ending date is May 10.)
During this time when some pavements and base materials are at their weakest due to the freezing and thawing cycle occurring, most* divisible load multiple trip permits exceeding legal axle weights or 80,000 pounds are suspended. (*Divisible load permits authorized by Wis. Stat. ss. 348.27(9m)(a)4. and 348.27(9t) may operate during spring thaw subject to terms of each permit.) During the thaw period overweight non-divisible multiple trip and single trip permits must stay off highway sections designated as Class II.
There are approximately 1,400 miles (94 segments) of bituminous highways on the Class II list during the springtime freezing and thawing period. Class II highways currently account for only 12 percent of the state highways.
Class II roads include only state highways that are judged to have unstable condition of the roadway subgrade during the period when frost is leaving the ground such that the travel of vehicles with overweight permits would cause undue damage to the roadway.
Local roads are affected by similar conditions and are posted or restricted as determined by the local maintaining authority.
In accordance with Wis. Stat. ss. 348.26 and 348.27, the department may restrict travel of vehicles with overweight permits on certain (Class II) roads due to the unstable condition of the roadway subgrade during the period when frost is leaving the ground.
Typical restrictions on travel include:
- Suspension of most divisible load permit types on all state highways for the duration of the spring thaw period. Exceptions are raw forest products at 98,000 lbs. (RS) and potato seed (PS) permits.
Divisible load permits AC, AG, AgCMV, FF, FMP, GR, IoH, IPD, MI, PB, PS, RF or RS.
- Travel under annual non-divisible permits becomes more difficult because holders of overweight annual permits must avoid the Class II roads.
Non-divisible load permits AA, BM, CM, CS, GG, HM, HRCQ, II, MH, SB, SM, or SS.
- Restrictions on maximum weight allowed for single-trip movement over Class II roads.
- Travel with single-trip or annual non-divisible overweight permits is not restricted on local or state roads in Milwaukee County or any part of the Interstate Highway System. In the remainder of the state, travel is not restricted under non-divisible annual permits on Class I roadways.