The Road: Seasonal Weight Restrictions

“All-Season” roads are those that have been designed and built with the appropriate width and pavement thickness to withstand truck traffic loads all year long. Thus they are not subject to the Seasonal Weight Restrictions that are placed on most roads during the early spring.

Roads not constructed to “All-Season” standards are subject to a reduction in allowable loading and speeds. During spring, thawing of the ground below these roads softens the roadbed and makes the surface susceptible to damage from heavy loads.

As a general rule, primary roads are constructed to all-season loading standards. However, there are a few primary roads that require reduced loading during Seasonal Weight Restrictions. All residential subdivision streets, most local roads, and all gravel surfaced roads in Ottawa County are subject to a 25 percent reduction in allowable loading when Seasonal Weight Restrictions are in effect.

Seasonal weight restrictions are legal limits placed on the loads trucks may carry. During late winter and early spring, when seasonal thawing occurs, the maximum allowable axle load and speed is reduced to prevent weather-related deterioration of roads.

Roads thaw out from the top down each spring and moisture is trapped on the surface. Heavy loads cause the deterioration of gravel and bituminous surfaces during this thawing period.

Seasonal Weight Restrictions are very important for the longevity of roads. The Road Commission employs two weighmasters for enforcement of Seasonal Weight Restrictions on county roads.

For more information on Seasonal Weight Restrictions in Ottawa County and throughout Michigan, visit