Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session



Chapter 326

S.P. 490 - L.D. 1355

An Act To Make Permanent the Allowance of Certain Commercial Vehicles between the United States-Canada Border and Certain Points in Maine

Emergency preamble. Whereas,  acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and

Whereas,   rural communities in the State are particularly dependent upon its forest products industries for employment opportunities and, given the current economic climate, the State's lumber and pulp and paper mills are struggling to continue their operations and to keep people employed; and

Whereas,  it is important to avoid compromising the State's transportation infrastructure; and

Whereas,  in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 29-A MRSA §2354-B, sub-§5,  as enacted by PL 2005, c. 421, §1 and affected by §2, is amended to read:

5. Repeal.   This section is repealed December 31, 2010 2009.

Sec. 2. 29-A MRSA §2354-C  is enacted to read:

§ 2354-C.   Allow certain commercial vehicles at Canadian weight limits to travel from the United States-Canada border to certain points in the State

1 Canadian gross vehicle weight limits.   Notwithstanding section 2354, the Commissioner of Transportation, in consultation with the Department of Public Safety and the Department of the Secretary of State, is authorized to allow certain commercial vehicles at Canadian gross vehicle weight limits to travel from the United States-Canada border at Calais to Baileyville, from the United States-Canada border at Madawaska to a paper mill at Madawaska and from the United States-Canada border at Van Buren to a rail yard in Van Buren. Vehicles are allowed to travel from the United States-Canada border under the following conditions.
A The only allowable routes of travel are from the United States-Canada border in Calais north on U.S. Route 1 to Access Road in Baileyville, east on Access Road to Domtar Woodland Mill or its successor on Main Street and north on Main Street to the Louisiana-Pacific Oriented Strand Board mill or its successor in Baileyville; from the United States-Canada border in Madawaska then directly north or south into the Fraser Papers facility or its successor in Madawaska or up Bridge Street to Mill Street in Madawaska in order to reverse direction; and from the United States-Canada border in Van Buren on Bridge Street, east into the rail yard in Van Buren, located approximately 2/10 of one mile from the border.
B Allowable truck configuration is limited to:

(1) A 3-axle truck tractor with a 3-axle semitrailer at a gross vehicle weight of 108,900 pounds; and

(2) A 3-axle truck tractor with a semitrailer-semitrailer combination, configured as a B-train double with 8 axles total, at a gross vehicle weight of 137,700 pounds. The weight of the 2nd semitrailer may not exceed the weight of the first semitrailer.

C Maine axle weight limits, axle group limits, commodity allowances, maximum dimensions and all other commercial vehicle limits and requirements apply, except that the B-train double overall length limit must be 82.02 feet, or 25 meters.
D The manufacturer's ratings for gross vehicle weight, axle capacity, brake systems and other components for which a manufacturer's rating is available may not be exceeded.
E Each truck combination allowed under this section must display a credential obtained for a fee from the Secretary of State. The fee must be established by the Commissioner of Transportation in an amount to cover related administrative costs, compliance monitoring and the additional cost of highway damage resulting from the allowance under this section calculated using accepted engineering practices.
F The Commissioner of Transportation may revoke the privileges of operation under this section of trucks and trucking companies for cause, including repeatedly exceeding size and weight limits or operating outside the designated route of travel. Revocation by the Commissioner of Transportation is considered a final agency action.
2 Definition.   As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, "B-train double" means a truck tractor-semitrailer-semitrailer combination vehicle in which the 2 trailing units are connected with a B-train assembly. The B-train assembly is a rigid frame extension attached to the rear frame of a first semitrailer that allows for a 5th wheel connection point for a 2nd semitrailer. This combination has one less articulation point than the conventional A-dolly-connected truck tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination.
3 Overlimit movement permits.   As provided in section 2382, the Secretary of State, acting under guidelines and advice of the Commissioner of Transportation, may grant permits to commercial vehicles at Canadian gross vehicle weight limits operating under the requirements of this section. The Secretary of State shall adopt rules to implement this section in consultation with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety. Rules adopted pursuant to this paragraph are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
4 Monitor; report.   The Department of Transportation shall monitor and evaluate the effects of the allowance under this section on road conditions. The Commissioner of Transportation shall submit an initial report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over transportation matters for presentation to the Second Regular Session of the 126th Legislature and a final report to the First Regular Session of the 129th Legislature. The report must include any findings regarding the effects on road conditions and recommendations for continuance, discontinuance or modification of the allowance under this section.

Sec. 3. Rulemaking; emergency rulemaking authority. No later than July 1, 2009, the Secretary of State in consultation with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety shall adopt rules to implement this Act. The Secretary of State is authorized to adopt rules on an emergency basis under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, sections 8054 and 8073 in order to implement those provisions of the Act over which the department has subject matter jurisdiction to avoid a threat to public health, safety or general welfare.

Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.

Effective June 9, 2009.

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333