Should lumber trucks be allowed highway access? Congressman says yes.

A new congressional initiative would lift restrictions for lumber trucks, allowing them access to the interstate highway system.

Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher is a sponsor of the Safe Routes Act of 2019, which would give truckers a choice of routes by allowing state legal, short haul, and commodity-specific log trucks access to highways, and therefore lessening the need to travel through back roads and towns.

Gallagher visited Wisconsin’s Algoma Lumber last week, and learned how current restrictions negatively impact incoming lumber trucks traveling through Green Bay, reported Door County Daily News. Fuel efficiency is reduced when traveling through residential areas and maintenance costs increase.

According to a 2018 Virginia Tech study, 96 percent of logging truck collisions occurred on city, county, or state roads where they encounter school zones, cross walks, intersections, stop signs, oncoming traffic, and railroad crossings, write congressional supporters of the bill. A 2018 University of Georgia study found that 41% of logging truck collisions occurred within five miles of the Interstate. The Safe Routes Act of 2019 would allow logging trucks to travel on the federal interstate for 150 air miles – enough to get them from the harvest site to the mill so that they stay off of backroads.