Portage engineer: Limit truck traffic to save roads

2013-10-05T18:00:00Z 2013-10-05T19:29:19Z Portage engineer: Limit truck traffic to save roadsJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | It was just the day after workers completed paving the eastern-most portion of Central Avenue that City Engineer John Hannon saw a large truck carrying tons of sand traversing the street.

While the newly-paved street looked fine, Hannon said the structure underneath isn't built to take trucks with heavy loads. The driver was stopped and asked to take another route.

"The roads aren't designed and built to take heavy truck loads," Hannon told the Traffic Commission Thursday morning, asking them to take action on creating truck routes through the city and limiting access of heavy loads on certain streets, specifically secondary arteries, like Airport, Samuelson and Lute roads.

Hannon suggested roads under consideration for banning heavy truck traffic be posted, limiting the weight of trucks to 10 tons and permitting local deliveries only on those roads.

"Adopting truck routes would go a long way to protecting the secondary arteries," he said.

Hannon said roads in the city suitable for heavy loads include U.S. 20, U.S. 6, Willowcreek Road, County Line Road south of Central Avenue, Central Avenue between Willowcreek and Hamstrom roads and Ind. 149.

The commission agreed. The issue, however, will have to be addressed in an ordinance. It will likely also have to include a permitting process for trucks over the load limit to travel on restricted streets.

Director of Public Works A.J. Monroe said he would take the information to the city attorney to draft an ordinance and bring the draft back to the commission at its November meeting.

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