Commissioners OK Frost Law road weight limits

Washington County Commissioners approved the Frost Law 2014 Resolution Thursday, which was submitted by the county engineer and details ways to better protect roads during the freeze-thaw period.

The resolution took effect on Thursday and will run through March 30.

The Frost Law reduces weight limits during times of thaw and moisture.

“It will protect the roads when the ground becomes soft,” said Commissioner David White.

Reduced weight limits include a 30 percent reduction in axle loads and gross vehicle weights. County Engineer Roger Wright said the reduction is based on a state standard. This drops the weight to 14,000 pounds per axle and 56,000 pounds of maximum weight per vehicle.

“Take the full amount of whatever a vehicle can carry, and reduce it by 30 percent,” he said.

Wright said it was the due diligence of the engineer’s office to make sure people stayed informed on the issue.

Commission President Ron Feathers said it’s up to the county engineer to decide which roads were a part of the Frost Law.

Wright said there are two types of roads that are exempt from the Frost Law.

“The first type is a Federal Aid Road, where we use federal funds to bring the roads to a better standard,” he said. “These are projects on roads that increase their stability and allow them to carry a heavier (load).”

Wright said the second type was in-house road stabilization.

“These are roads that have a base stabilization project with in-house money, whether that’s from tax money, license plate or gasoline sales or tax funds,” he said.

A few non-Frost Law roads include Ohio 821 to Ohio 530 and Ohio 7 to County Road 333. A complete list can be found at the Washington County Engineer’s office; calls are welcome at 376-7430.

Permits can be issued for a few types of vehicles traveling the frost roads if they exceed weight. Wright said that hardly ever does someone come in asking for one, but there is currently no charge for them.

“We don’t normally issue many of them,” he said. “There aren’t many deliveries of that type on those roads. I don’t believe there were any permits last year.”

Some of the types of vehicles eligible for permits include:

– Beer and soft drink delivery trucks

-Building and supply vehicles

-Farm trucks

-Garbage trucks

-Food product delivery trucks.

Sewage disposal trucks

In other business, many transfers of money were made from the County General fund into different agency funds, including the Debt Service Public Assistance fund for $11,740, the Common Pleas Court Background Investigation fund for $25,000, the Victim Assistance fund for $7,304, the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) fund for $39,461 and the Children Services fund for $105,927 for the month of January and $105,920 per month starting February and ending in December.

White said these appropriations will cover the cost of operating for the entire year.

“This was the amount annually appropriated,” he said. “They are full year amounts. It’s just putting (the money) into the accounts.”