Frozen road declaration

The Frozen Road Period begins in Zone 1 at 12:01 a.m. CST, Wednesday December 12. The Frozen Road Period will begin in Zones 2, 3, 4, and 5 when conditions warrant.

The frozen road declaration is normally in effect from mid December to late February or early March. Eligibility for increased weight limitations is restricted to vehicles hauling abrasives or salt for highway winter maintenance and peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise not to include woodchips. For legally licensed vehicles hauling these loads, no special permit is required during this period. Legally licensed means currently registered for 80,000 pounds, or the maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), if less than 80,000 pounds.

Local county or township road maintenance authorities are responsible for determining when local and county roads are frozen or thawing. Questions related to frozen road conditions on local or county roads should be referred to the maintaining authority for those roads.

Interactive Map - Seasonal Load Limits Boundaries (Updated December 10, 2018) 
End of Frozen Road Declaration (Updated March 5, 2018) 
History (Updated March 5, 2018) 
Maintenance Manual Guideline (6-5-5) (Updated January 17, 2012) 
How do we determine when the roads are frozen or in thaw? (January 20, 2017)

Call (608) 266-8417 for a recorded message of the current status of the frozen road declaration.


Allan Johnson
WisDOT Winter Maintenance Engineer

Questions about overweight/oversize permits:
Motor carrier services,
(608) 266-7320