Overdrive Staff | March 01, 2010

— Staff reports

Highway Happenings

ARIZONA. Eleven state motor vehicle offices have been closed to help reduce a budget shortfall. The closures follow last fall’s shutdown of 13 highway rest areas in the state.

FLORIDA. Lanes may close at night for the next few months on a six-mile segment of the Florida Turnpike Homestead Extension for road resurfacing. The work is ongoing from the Interstate 75 interchange (Exit 39) to the NW 57th Avenue/Red Road interchange (Exit 43).

INDIANA. The Department of Transportation has closed State Road 13 north of S.R. 67 for several months. The detour routes drivers from Fortville along S.R. 67 to Interstate 69 at Exit 22 and back to S.R. 13 at Lapel. 

MISSOURI. The state is using a sugar beet mixture to help keep roads clear and reduce the corrosiveness of salt. Beet juice mixed with rock salt or salt brine can keep ice from forming on roads before a storm, officials say.

OREGON. A replacement structure for the I-5 bridge that crosses the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver, Wash., could carry tolls. Tolls would vary according to time of day for the bridge proposed for 2017.

SOUTH CAROLINA. South Carolina closed four rest areas to save more than $1 million. The locations are on I-95, both northbound and southbound at mile marker 17; on I-85 at mile marker 89; and on I-26 at mile marker 202. Last year, the state reopened several parking areas for trucks.

WEST VIRGINIA. Under a state senate bill, fines for drivers ticketed for violating out-of-service orders would more than double to $2,500 from $1,100. Subsequent offenses would result in $5,000 fines. Another provision in the bill would increase a driver’s suspension for violating an OOS order to six months from the current 90 days.

WYOMING. Drivers of heavy trucks caught topping the speed limit by more than 5 mph will face a $300 surcharge, formerly $100, on their speeding tickets.

West Virginia eyes idling limits, tolls

The West Virginia Legislature is considering bills that would limit truck and bus idling, allow tolling beyond the state turnpike and bring state commercial driver license laws into federal compliance.

Sentate Bill 183 would restrict idling to five minutes in any hour for trucks and buses weighing more than 10,000 pounds, but allow for some exceptions. Fines would range from $150 to $300. Many states and municipalities limit idling from three to 15 minutes.

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