Load restric­tions may lighten

The Delhi News-Record - - FRONT PAGE - MONTE SONNENBERG MSon­nen­berg@post­media.com

The price of main­tain­ing halfload restric­tions in Nor­folk County could be in­creas­ing re­quests for ex­emp­tions to the same.

The for­mer Town­ship of Delhi im­posed half-load restric­tions on many con­ces­sion roads prior to the for­ma­tion of the new Nor­folk County.

While it has been any­thing-goes in most other parts of the county, the half-load restric­tions were never re­viewed in the for­mer Town­ship of Delhi un­til now.

Nor­folk pub­lic works in­tends to present a re­port by the end of the year des­ig­nat­ing which county roads need a weight re­stric­tion in spring. Lee Robin­son, Nor­folk’s gen­eral man­ager of pub­lic works, has told coun­cil weight restric­tions will be re­moved from some roads.

Mean­while, some farm­ers in the for­mer Town­ship of Delhi are chomp­ing at the bit.

Last week, Har­mony Road ap­ple farmer Chris Hedges served no­tice he will seek an ex­emp­tion to the by­law next Jan­uary if the load re­stric­tion isn’t lifted on Har­mony Road in the area of High­way 24.

Hedges grows about 250 acres of ap­ples north of Sim­coe. He is build­ing a cli­mate- and at­mos­phere-con­trolled stor­age fa­cil­ity on Har­mony Road. Hedges told Nor­folk coun­cil last week that load restric­tions in March and April are an im­ped­i­ment to the smooth oper­a­tion of his ap­ple busi­ness.

Hedges added the load restric­tions are some­what point­less.

The restric­tions for­bid trucks from load­ing more than five tonnes per axle in cir­cum­stances where 10 tonnes is nor­mal. Hedges pointed out that farm­ers can by­pass the re­stric­tion if they move ev­ery­thing by trac­tor and wagon.

Some on Nor­folk coun­cil are sym­pa­thetic.

“Ev­ery­thing is over­weight th­ese days,” Water­ford Coun. Harold Sonnenberg said. “Why do we con­tinue to con­duct busi­ness with th­ese ar­chaic weight restric­tions? They need to be re­viewed.”

Delhi Coun. Mike Colum­bus coun­tered that th­ese restric­tions have served his ward well. Colum­bus noted there are con­ces­sion roads in the Port Dover-Water­ford area that never had weight restric­tions and which are in much worse shape that coun­try roads in the for­mer Town­ship of Delhi.

Lee Robin­son, Nor­folk’s gen­eral man­ager of pub­lic works, says some roads with weight restric­tions don’t need them. Con­versely, there are ru­ral roads else­where that would ben­e­fit from them.

Robin­son says this is some­thing the county needs to sort out. Some heat­ing oil com­pa­nies are need­lessly light­en­ing up their trucks be­fore mak­ing deliveries to cus­tomers in the half-load zone.

“It has noth­ing to do with what’s up top,” Robin­son said. “It has to do with the road base.”

Nor­folk pub­lic works will deal with Hedges’ sit­u­a­tion in­di­vid­u­ally if – for what­ever rea­son – it is un­able to com­plete its com­pre­hen­sive re­view by the end of next Jan­uary. As such, Hedges’ re­quest has been ear­marked as a pri­or­ity “ac­tion item.”

Large trucks in Nor­folk nor­mally carry about 10 tonnes per axle. The for­mer Town­ship of Delhi adopted half-load restric­tions as a means of eas­ing wear and tear on roads while the frost is com­ing out of the ground.

MONTE SONNENBERG / DELHI NEWS-RECORD

Nor­folk’s pub­lic works de­part­ment is re­view­ing all ru­ral roads in the county to de­ter­mine which ones need weight restric­tions in spring and which ones don’t. As it stands, the only ru­ral roads posted with this sig­nage are in the for­mer Town­ship of Delhi.

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