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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 2015
No.: 15-2520
Contact:Dan Smith, (907) 365-1210, dan.smith1@alaska.gov

ADOT&PF suspends seasonal weight restrictions on Parks Highway travel to, from Prudhoe Bay

(Anchorage, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) will suspend temporary seasonal weight restrictions for commercial vehicles traveling the Parks Highway with an origin or destination in Prudhoe Bay. Commercial vehicles transporting commodities to Prudhoe Bay over the exempted routes will be allowed 100 percent of legal axle weight. No permit is required.

The shifting of legal axle weight on the drive groups up to 2,000 pounds on the Steese and Elliott highways has been extended through April 22, 2015.

To provide vital supplies and transportation services to the disaster area, Gov. Bill Walker's declaration triggers the temporary suspension of certain federal safety regulations, including hours of service, for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief effort.

Drivers responding to provide "direct assistance" to the "emergency" meeting the definitions in 49 CFR 390.5 are exempt from applicable regulations.

These exemptions only apply to 49 CFR Parts 390-399. They do NOT exempt drivers/carriers from the requirements relating to CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size and weight, or state/federal registration and tax requirements.

Even if an Emergency Declaration is still in effect, the emergency must be on-going, and you must be providing direct emergency assistance to be exempt from safety regulations.

There is no requirement to carry a copy of the declaration in the vehicle.

Even though safety regulations may be suspended, drivers and carriers are expected to use good judgment and not operate vehicles with fatigued or ill drivers, or under any conditions presenting a clear hazard to other motorists using the highways.

The department also has received questions regarding the mandate for commercial vehicles to use double chains when transiting the flooded section of the Dalton Highway. To clarify, chains are required on drive axles, one set of chains per drive axle. Chains are optional for trailers.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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