Chapter 13: Load Zoning and Super Heavy Load Analysis

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Section 1: Overview of Load Zoning

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1.1 Background

There are approximately 16,000 miles of load-restricted highways in Texas. These facilities were generally constructed prior to the late 1950s and were designed for lighter axle configurations and wheel loads than are currently allowed by law. In addition, environmental effects have weakened some structures.

The Construction Division, Materials & Pavements Section (CST-M&P), manages a database for load-restricted highways. The load-restricted highways can be accessed through the following link: http://www.txdot.gov/business/resources/construction/load-zoning.html.

The Bridge Division manages a database for load-restricted bridge structures. Refer to http://apps.dot.state.tx.us/apps/gis/lrbm/ for the load restricted bridge application that includes both on and off-system load restricted bridges.

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1.2 Executive Orders

In an effort to protect facilities that were originally designed for lighter wheel loads from accelerated deterioration, a provision exists in the Texas Transportation Code §621.102. The law authorizes the executive director of the department to set load limits. The executive director must accomplish all actions to revise, post, or remove postings from restricted facilities by issuing a legal document called an Executive Order. CST-M&P is responsible for preparing and submitting, to the executive director, proposed Executive Orders involving load zoning.

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1.3 What is in This Chapter?

This chapter discusses the following:


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