FMCSA's carrier safety rating revamp -- time to weigh options | I-55 two-week closure

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, June 6, 2024:

FMCSA hosting listening session on carrier rating system revamp

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will host a listening session pertaining to the development of an updated methodology to determine when a motor carrier is not fit to operate in interstate commerce later this month at the Texas Trucking Show.

Specifically, FMCSA said it would like to hear from members of the public on concerns relating to the following topics:

[Related: Fit or Unfit? FMCSA keying in on problems with 'Conditional' safety rating limbo]

FMCSA last year began the early stages of a potential revamp of its carrier safety rating system. An advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) was published in August, which sought public feedback on the need for a rulemaking to revise the safety rating regulations, feedback on current safety rating regulations, and more. Only 176 comments were filed on that ANPRM.

The public session will be held in-person at the Texas Trucking Show at the NRG Center in Houston on Saturday, June 29, from 1-2:30 p.m. Central. Registration with the Texas Trucking Show is required to attend FMCSA’s listening session. Registration is free and may be completed online here.

The agency is also planning two virtual-only listening sessions on the same topics to be held in June and July. Specifics of those meetings will be announced in a separate notice yet to be published. Stay tuned to Overdrive for details on those meetings when they are announced.

Get a window on relatively recent-history rating developments and discussions in the two 2023 editions of Overdrive Radio below: 

[Related: FMCSA's safety rating revamp: Could new reports mean in-cab tech will play a role?]

I-55 Mississippi River Bridge closing for two weeks

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) contract crews will be closing the I-55 Mississippi River Bridge for two weeks to continue construction activities on the I-55 and Crump interchange.

During the two-week closure, crews will hydro-demolition the bridge deck and provide a new polymer concrete overlay. The polymer-modified concrete has strict temperature restrictions, so all work is weather-dependent. The upcoming closure is the first of two allowed in the contract.

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The closures will take place from 8 p.m. Sunday, June 9, through 8 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at the following locations:

  • I-55 SB will be closed at Bridgeport Road in Arkansas
  • I-55 NB will be closed at South Parkway in Tennessee (local Memphis traffic will be allowed to continue to the McLemore exit.)
  • I-55 SB ramp will be closed
  • Crump Boulevard WB will be closed

Another new TA Express opens in Louisiana

TravelCenters of America has opened another TA Express location In Louisiana, this time in LaPlace.

This is the fifth TA location to open in Louisiana in the last six months. The other new locations that opened in Louisiana are TA Express Minden, TA Express Hosston, TA Express St. Rose and TA Express Grambling.

TA Express LaPlace, located off I-10 west of New Orleans, offers 100 truck parking spaces, a Subway restaurant, eight showers, 10 diesel lanes and a casino opening in the fall.

TA now has more than 300 locations in 44 states and plans to open another 16 by year-end.

[Related: Truck Parking Club turns free spaces paid: Is this the future of parking?]