Spring load restrictions

Spring load restrictions

Spring load restrictions

What are spring load restrictions?

Each year during the spring thaw (typically early-March to mid-May), state, county and local agencies impose axle weight restrictions to protect the investment that has been made in their roadways. The two primary causes for premature deterioration of bituminous pavement are weather and traffic load. As the frost is leaving the ground during the spring thaw every year, the gravel under the roadbed has high moisture content, which weakens the load carrying capacity of the bituminous pavement. 

In order to protect and prolong the service life of the roadways, axle weight restrictions are imposed during the spring thaw every year, when the roadbeds are most susceptible to damage (due to the weakened subgrade).

When are spring load restrictions in effect?

The period in which restrictions can last vary depending upon frost and weather conditions, but they usually last a minimum of eight weeks. Rice County uses the spring load restriction dates set by MnDOT as a guideline for Rice County’s road network. 


2024 spring load restrictions

Spring Load Restrictions start Feb. 26, 2024

Rice County historical spring load restrictions start and end dates

2023 Spring Load Restrictions

Spring Load Restrictions started: March 10, 2023
Spring Load Restrictions ended: May 2, 2023

2022 Spring Load Restrictions

Spring Load Restrictions started: March 14, 2022
Spring Load Restrictions ended: May 5, 2022

2021 Spring Load Restrictions

Spring Load Restrictions started: March 4, 2021
Spring Load Restrictions ended: April 26, 2021

MnDOT’s Historical Seasonal Load Limits

State statutes

169.823 Tire weight limits
169.87 Seasonal load restriction; route designation