Logging truck bill introduced in Congress

The bill would allow trucks to use federal interstates, instead of congested local roads

(Logging truck near Port Angeles, Washington)

MADISON, Wis. -- A bill that would allow logging trucks to use the federal interstate highway system to bypass crowded local roads and city streets has been reintroduced in Congress by U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay).

Research at the University of Minnesota said that allowing logging trucks to detour around local roads and state highways to the interstate system would enhance safety and reduce fuel consumption and air pollution. The study estimated that allowing interstate use could cut fuel consumption from 6 to 14%

The bill was originally introduced by Gallagher in 2019, but did not pass despite bipartisan support. It would allow trucks to observe state rather than federal weight limits within states.

Gallagher told Wisconsin Public Radio that he became convinced of the need for a change when he rode along with a log truck driver in 2019 as they wove their way down local roads through intersections and roundabouts.

Gallagher serves on the House Transportation Committee, which will review the reform legislation. It will need bipartisan support again in a tightly divided U.S. Congress. The bill has the backing of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association and the Forest Resources Association.

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