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Seasonal road restrictions are removed

Spring load restrictions implemented by the North Dakota Department of Transportation are primarily gone, as sustained warm weather has finally arrived.

Spring load restrictions implemented by the North Dakota Department of Transportation are primarily gone, as sustained warm weather has finally arrived.

On Monday, load restrictions were lifted from all state highways except N.D. Highway 1804 from New Town to Williston. This highway is to be changed to an 8-ton restriction.

Al Heiser, Stark County road superintendent, said a combination of weather and road conditions led to the removal of Stark County's seasonal load restrictions earlier this month.

"Ours are all back to normal restrictions," Heiser said. "There are some roads where we have restrictions year-round."

He added seasonal load restrictions are usually kept on long enough to let roads thaw in the spring, since roads are more susceptible to damage during this time. Heavier loads do more damage to roads, so restrictions are put in place to help keep roads intact.

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Heiser said county roads are in exceptionally good condition this spring.

"It was dry last fall and last summer...there was no moisture to get underneath the pavement to freeze and thaw and push around so I think we went through the winter in good shape," Heiser said. "A lot of times that gets underneath the loose pavement and pushes it up...and potholes get started."

He said some damage is expected to occur over the winter and spring, but it was minimal this year.

"Usually in the springtime, we'll go around with a pothole patch and this year we did very few," Heiser said. "It's just been extremely dry, and I think that had a lot to do with it."

North Dakota Department of Transportation Dickinson District engineer Larry Gangl said state roads have also held up well throughout the winter and spring thaw.

"There's a few areas where we have some minor breakups and things of that nature, but no real big major problems," Gangl said. "We saw just a little bit more roadway issues where we're having a little more oilfield traffic."

He said state Highway 22 North, Highway 200, and Highway 8 north of Halliday all had more damage than usual this spring.

"We noticed those three roadways, due to the increased traffic of the oilfield, have a little more deterioration than normal, but still nothing that we couldn't manage," Gangl said.

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He added other roads in the district seem to have sustained normal wear over the winter.

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