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Overdrive Staff | January 04, 2011

Mikes says shippers will be hard-pressed not to accommodate cost pressures coupled with the restricted supply of trucks and drivers that is likely to continue.

Mikes says larger carriers are more upbeat in this environment. “More of the carriers over $25 million in revenue saw rates go up in the last three months than did the smaller carriers,” which also was reflected in future rate expectations, according to the survey. However, Batts says smaller carriers are facing increasing fuel, equipment and financing constraints, and must recover more costs soon.

– Staff reports



HIGHWAY HAPPENINGS

DELAWARE. The state is scheduled to begin enforcing its ban on texting while driving on Jan. 2. The state is one of eight that prohibit all cell phone use except hands-free behind the wheel. Use of laptop computers and personal digital assistants while driving is also banned.

GEORGIA. Expect periodic delays as the state widens State Route 324 crossing over I-85. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2012.

IDAHO. A task force has made several recommendations to raise funds for new highways and repairs in the state, including a fuel tax increase and tying the tax to the rate of inflation. Other options include higher truck registration fees and reviving a weight-distance tax.

MICHIGAN. The state will keep all but seven of its 81 rest areas open for the winter season through April 4. Three of the closed rest areas are located on I-75. Two closed facilities on I-96 are under construction and one is scheduled to reopen in April and the other in July.

MINNESOTA. Allowable winter load limits on several state highways have been increased. Vehicles will be allowed to carry up to 10 percent more weight than standard legal loads on unrestricted highways during the winter. A permit is required to take advantage of the weight increase on interstates.

SOUTH CAROLINA. A bill filed for the upcoming legislative session would allow the state to seek private partners to complete the proposed Interstate 73 project. The road would go from Myrtle Beach to the northern part of the state and link up with I-95. The bill would also allow tolling authority for new projects and add lanes to existing highways.

TENNESSEE. On Jan. 3, the state will close the Henley Bridge in Knoxville for 24 to 30 months for extensive rehabilitation. The closure will utilize the James White Parkway and Sevierville Pike as a detour. Bridge reopening is scheduled for 2013.

WISCONSIN. The state is the latest to ban texting while driving. The law makes violations a primary offense, meaning drivers can be stopped solely for texting. A federal rule banning texting while operating a commercial vehicle began in October.



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