Although the federal Highway Bill passed in early 2012 called for the Department of Transportation to conduct a study of the impacts of several configurations of heavier or longer trucks, and to release that study’s results by August 2014, the estimated release date soon slipped to November, and currently we are hearing that results may not be available until early 2015.
FRA believes—based on our review of the sources the study consulted—that the conclusions of the study will be favorable for truck weight reform along the lines of the Safe & Efficient Transportation Act. Making a supportive report public and available on a timely basis will be very helpful in building Congressional support for truck weight reform during Highway Bill negotiations, which are likely to be among the first business the new Congress takes up in 2015. We have been working with other members of the Coalition for Transportation Productivity to encourage Congressional contacts with senior Department of Transportation officials to ensure the study report’s timely release.
John Runyan, the executive director of the Coalition for Transportation Productivity, published an opinion piece in the November 11 Journal of Commerce, urging the rail interest to be a constructive player in truck weight reform, rather than an obstructive one, pointing out the constraints that today’s shipping capacity squeeze places on manufacturing recovery. Review John’s commentary atthis link (free registration and login required), and add your comment in the comment section following the article. Background on truck weight reform at this link.