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Permit Load Changes and Restrictions

SHARED BY: TERRY PAHOLEK, HNTB

The basic goal of a CEI team is to help ensure a successful project that's beneficial to TxDOT, the contractor, and all other involved parties. One item that CEI firms should remember to handle is Permit Loads, that is loads that require a DMV permit due to their oversize (height, width, length) or overweight nature.

We need to look at future traffic switches and consider the impact to oversize/overweight (OS/OW) loads. Most permits are good for around 5 days, so we need to enact permit restrictions early enough to allow the new restriction to become effective prior to our traffic switch. If the lanes will be narrowed and constricted by barrier, we need to enact a width restriction. If beams are to be placed over a roadway, we need to enact a height restriction. If significant changes are made to the turning radii at intersections or increases to grade changes through intersections (think lo-boy bottoming out), we need to enact restrictions to lengths of truck-trailer combinations.

There are also the changes to possible routing of permit loads that need to be handled. When roads are changed to one-way, entrance/ exit ramps are moved/closed, or turning movements at intersections are severely changes, we need to communicate those changes to TxDOT and TxDMV in order to keep the permit system from trying to route permit roads into conditions that no longer exist. I wish there was a magic wand that could extend this notification onward to the GPS/Online mapping systems, but I have not found it yet.

Some of us have been caught in a situation where a load is stuck and has to be backed out and rerouted. It is not good to have an interstate closed to traffic to allow a permit load room to back up to the previous exit, so they can avoid the constriction. This type of event is a safety issue that is not good for anyone, especially the driving public.

Please remember to look ahead, find potential impacts, and coordinate with your TxDOT AO to enact the proper restrictions -- you will never know what you will have prevented from happening!

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