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Alberta eases road ban rules to help move grain

posted Mar 29, 2014, 5:30 AM by Action for Agriculture

This spring, farmers across Alberta will be able to obtain free permits to haul grain on provincial highways when road bans are in effect.

Starting April 1, farmers transporting grain from storage to elevators will be exempt from vehicle weight restrictions on provincial highways. Permits will be available at no cost for grain trucks to travel at 100 per cent axle weight on banned roads, as long as these roads are not damaged in the process.

“We’re doing all we can to support Alberta farmers and keep grain moving, even on banned roads when possible. Relaxing road ban limits at a time when our farmers need some flexibility is the right thing to do.”

Wayne Drysdale, Minister of Transportation

“Agriculture is Alberta’s largest renewable industry and part of the foundation of our rural economy. I am very pleased producers, municipalities and our government are working together with other links in the supply chain to ensure that grain will keep moving to market this spring.”

Verlyn Olson, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

The special permits will be in effect from April 1 to June 30, 2014. Alberta Transportation staff will monitor road conditions during this time and suggest alternate travel routes if necessary to keep motorists safe and protect highway infrastructure. Check online for a complete list of current road bans and axle-weight restrictions in effect.

How to apply for a road ban exemption

  • Get a permit request form by contacting Alberta Transportation’s Central Permit Office toll free at 1-800-662-7138 from 6 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends and statutory holidays.
  • Complete the form by providing information on the trip’s origin, destination, route, trucks covered, weights requested, number of loads required and contact information.
  • Get the road ban exemption if the route can withstand your proposed traffic without significant damage according to engineers and regional maintenance staff.
  • Contact the local municipality directly for a permit to haul grain on municipal roads.

Spring thawing is tough on Alberta’s provincial highway network, especially on oiled roads and those before final paving is completed. As a result, road bans are sometimes necessary when roadway structures are at their weakest and can only handle certain weights.

Road bans generally start in Alberta’s south and move north as the temperature increases. Bans are lifted as soon as Alberta Transportation staff determine roads are stable enough to handle regular vehicle weights.

Alberta’s exports of agricultural products are valued at more $9 billion annually. The 2013 western Canadian harvest has produced an estimated 75.9 million metric tonnes of major grain crops, nearly 40 per cent more than the five-year average.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

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