Frozen road declaration

The Frozen Road Period ends in Zones 1, 2 and 3 as of 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

The Frozen Road Period previously ended in Zones 4 and 5.

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.

Map - Seasonal load limits boundaries (Updated March 5, 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)

RS permit - raw forest products (98,000 pounds on 6-axles):

  • WisDOT is the exclusive issuing authority for RS permits per Wis. Stats. s. 348.27(9m)(a).
  • Wis. Stats. s. 348.27(9m)(a)4. authorizes the transport of “raw forest products”.
  • Raw forest products are defined in Wis. Stats. s. 348.01(2)(bt).
  • The RS permit authorizes:
    • GVW of 98,000 lbs. in vehicle combinations with six or more axles.
    • No axle may exceed the axle weights set in Wis. Stats. s. 348.27(9m)(a)4.
  • RS Permits are not valid on Interstate highways.
  • RS permits do not authorize exceeding posted weight limits, except for seasonal limits on marked State or US routes in connection with spring thaw.
  • RS permits are valid during spring thaw on all other public roads; however, they are subject to all posted weight limits, including seasonal limits.

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