Mills hope their wood supply is adequate as annual road limits start
After a very tough winter logging season, Wisconsin mills hope that their inventories of wood are adequate as road weight limits come into place throughout the state.
After a very tough winter logging season, Wisconsin mills hope that their inventories of wood are adequate as road weight limits come into place throughout the state. The coldest temperatures in more than 20 years and abundant snowfall made logging inaccessible in many of the areas that supply the state’s mills.
“Generally, this time of the year they work hard to be stocked while spring road restrictions are in play,” Sabina Dhungana, a DNR forest products specialist, said. “This year it’s been tough since logging crews have had a tough time being in the woods since early February due to deep snow and some really severe cold days.”
But a DNR group found that a large central Wisconsin paper mill was not too concerned about supply issues. “They seemed to think that they were OK for the period leading into road limits.”
Similarly, a manager for Biewer Lumber in Prentice said inventory levels were “not too bad” in late March. “We’re buying some red pine, but generally our inventories are OK,” the mill manager said.
The Birchwood Manufacturing veneer mill in Rice Lake has seen a burst of fresh activity in shipments during the third week in March, according to a manager there. “The loggers were all but shut down into early March,” a manager reported, “but log movement started to really accelerate in the last week.”
Load limits on some state highways are set by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and went into effect on March 21 this year. They normally are in place until early May. Load limits on county and town roads are set by individual counties and towns. To check on them, contact the road department or road agent for the jurisdiction.
Here is a list of state highways with specific segments that carry load limits (restricting weights below normal limits during the balance of the year). You can check on what segments of each highway are restricted and to what weight limits are set at this DOT site:
https://wisconsindot.gov/Docum... 52 in Forest, Langlade, Marathon, and Shawano counties.
HIghway 54 in Wood County
Highway 55 in Forest County
Highway 65 in St. Croix and Polk counties
Highway 107 in Marathon and Lincoln counties
Highway 122 in Iron County
Highway 131 in Crawford County
Highway 153 in Shawano and Marathon counties
Highway 169 in Iron and Ashland counties
Highway 173 in Wood County