DOT: Frost Laws May Happen Soon
Friday, February 17, 2023

Due to recent warm weather patterns, the ND Department of Transportation is alerting the trucking industry that seasonal load restrictions may be implemented on state highways if temperatures continue to rise.

DOT officials say cold temperatures over the next few days will temporarily pause the thawing of subgrade but will not refreeze it. When temperatures climb back above freezing, the subgrade will quickly continue its thaw.

NDDOT uses load restrictions, commonly known as frost laws, to reduce damage to roadways caused by heavy loads when highway pavements are most vulnerable. The department uses computer modeling which is verified by subsurface temperature probes to determine when to place spring load restrictions on the highways. The technology helps NDDOT make more informed decisions and can reduce the length of time load restrictions are in place. 

Depending on weather conditions, the restrictions typically go into effect starting in the southwest region of the state and remain in effect until roadbeds have stabilized enough to carry normal traffic, typically around the middle of May.

NDDOT is urging those who have overweight loads to consider moving them before seasonal load restrictions are placed.

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