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Weight limit restrictions on White Mountain highways lifted temporarily

Emergency rulemaking allows loggers to remove Wallow Fire-damaged trees
April 24, 2013

PHOENIX — In an effort to aid recovery efforts from the Wallow Fire, weight limit restrictions on several state highways in forest areas have been temporarily removed effective immediately, due to immediate action taken by the Governor’s Office and the Arizona Department of Transportation.

By suspending certain commercial motor vehicle weight limits up to 80,000 pounds or length restrictions on select highways over the next 180 days, the forest industry can gain access to areas where immediate timber clearing and thinning are required to reduce the fire hazard to the forests and local communities. This will also limit the economic hardship to timber industry-related businesses.

ADOT recently became aware that prescribed weight limits and length restrictions on certain state highways were presenting problems for counties that contain forest areas that have been subject to wildfires.

“While these weight limits have been in place for a very long time to protect state infrastructure, ADOT understands the urgency from the logging industry,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “The leadership of Governor Brewer brought ADOT together with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of State to get an emergency rule approved.”

Prior to the rulemaking, existing state rules placed restrictions on certain commercial motor vehicles on state highways, including state routes 261 (35,000 pounds) and 273 (20,000 pounds) in the White Mountains. By increasing the weight limits, the timber industry can more effectively manage the recovery efforts by carrying heavier loads.

SR 261 is the primary access to an existing 11,000 acre timber clearing and thinning project and a 96,000 acre project is set to begin soon, according to Apache County.

The Wallow Fire burned more than 500,000 acres in Apache County and resulted in millions of dollars of economic loss, countless hours of firefighter service and loss of animal habitat.

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Civil RightsTitle VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT por sus siglas en inglés) no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, género o discapacidad.  Personas que requieren asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o por discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles en Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más pronto posible para asegurar que el equipo encargado del proyecto tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.