ITD: Ounce of prevention

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The Idaho Transportation Department is committed to providing the best possible transportation system for the public. During the transition from winter to spring, ensuring mobility involves implementing spring breakup restrictions on Idaho Highway 3, 53, 97 and others.

During spring breakup season, traffic effects to highways are worsened by freeze-thaw cycles. As temperatures rise from freezing levels, water saturates the soil beneath roads and creates weaker sections that can develop potholes and cracks. Speed and weight restrictions are applied to larger vehicles to prevent accelerated deterioration of the pavement.

ITD uses data from roadside sensors to determine when these restrictions should be applied. We understand the inconvenience of these restrictions, especially on two-lane highways with limited passing opportunities.

As such, these restrictions are applied intermittently throughout the breakup season, but only when necessary to preserve the pavement, minimize future maintenance costs and avoid causing delays when making repairs. Highway users can learn about routes with spring breakup restrictions by visiting: 511.idaho.gov.

Damage from the spring breakup season is more than accepting the added maintenance costs of routine potholes. If left unregulated, spring breakup causes catastrophic failure of entire sections of the highway system, which funding levels cannot repair.

By implementing these restrictions now, ITD prevents long-term damage of the transportation system and therefore acts as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars.

DAMON ALLEN

District Engineer

Idaho Transportation Department

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