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Section 2: Changing Load Zones on Roads

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2.1 Adding

New restrictions may be required for a number of reasons. Highways undergo periodic evaluations and, during the course of these evaluations, highways may be discovered to be structurally deficient. Refer to the step-by-step instructions in “Table 13-1: Changing Load Zones on Roads” for adding a load zone.

If the deficiency is severe enough to cause potential for accident or injury, then an emergency posting for 120 days may be utilized. See Section 3 for procedures to implement an emergency Executive Order. If repairs or upgrades are not anticipated for more than 120 days, restrictions must be authorized and promulgated by a subsequent "permanent" Executive Order.

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2.2 Removing

Removing a load zone may be requested if rehabilitation or reconstruction has been performed, or the load-zoned road can carry the traffic until the next scheduled rehabilitation without premature failure. If the highway was upgraded by using an approved design process that accounts for future projected traffic, then no further analysis is necessary and recommendation for removal of restrictions shall be made by Executive Order. However, if an upgrade was accomplished by means of a maintenance effort (or 2R program), then the district must perform a deflection survey of the upgraded highway using the load zone setup on the falling weight deflectometer (FWD).

Refer to the step-by-step instructions in “Table 13-1: Changing Load Zones on Roads” for removing a load zone.

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2.3 Changing

The following table lists the steps, responsible party, and required action for changing load zones on roads:

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Responsible Party

Required Action



  • Completes the " Recommended Change in Road Load Zoning," Form 1084R;
  • Attaches available photos of existing pavement, pavement deflection and design data, subgrade soil lab test reports, or other pertinent information, such as a copy of the pavement design report;
  • Collects pavement structural data using the load zone setup in the falling weight deflectometer (FWD) if a pavement design report does not exist;
  • Submits to Maintenance Division, Pavement Asset Management Section.


MNT – Pavement Asset Management

  • Analyzes data, estimates the remaining life of the pavement section, and makes recommendation to district.



  • Makes decision on load requirements based on recommendation from MNT – Pavement Asset Management.


MNT – Pavement Asset Management

  • Prepares Executive Order for executive director approval;
  • Notifies by email affected district upon executive director approval of load zone revision. A copy of approved Executive Order will accompany district notification;
  • Updates the publicly accessible load zone map.



  • Erects or removes signs consistent with the proper load limits once approved Executive Order has been received.


MNT – Pavement Asset Management

  • Provides consultation to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the issuance of permits.

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