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NCDOT says twin-trailers now street-legal on Durham Freeway & Outer Loop

NCDOT says it now will allow truckers to haul twin-trailer rigs on freeways in the Triangle and Eastern North Carolina where they were not allowed before:

* The Durham Freeway (N.C. 147) from Interstate 85 in northern Durham to Alexander Drive in RTP
* U.S. 64 between U.S. 15-501 near Pittsboro and U.S. 1 in Cary
* U.S. 64 from U.S. 13 / 15 in Martin County to N.C. 94 in Tyrrell County
* N.C. 148 (Felix Harvey Parkway) between N.C. 58 and U.S. 70 in Lenoir County.
* The southern half of Raleigh's 540 Outer Loop, most of which has not been built yet. The loop eventually will extend from Interstate 40 near Research Triangle Park to U.S. 64 / 264 at Knightdale. [Updated 1/11/12]

State law requires NCDOT to withhold permission for twin trailers to use a route until it has conducted a traffic engineering study to show that the route can handle the traffic safely.

Twin-trailer permission is pending for the first section of the Triangle Expressway, which extends N.C. 147 south through RTP to the 540 Outer Loop.

Trucking companies do not need state approval to drive twin trailers on interstate highways, including the northern 540 Outer Loop, and certain other fedeeral routes.

Economy drives trucking schools

Tags: economy | News | photos | trucks

See photos from the Carolina Trucking School in Raleigh. Staff photos by Shawn Rocco.

Congressional testimony: 53-foot trucks will increase NC road risks

Legislation to allow longer trucks on state highways will boost the risk of truck crashes, deaths and injuries and cause more damage to North Carolina’s roads and bridges, a national safety advocate says.

The warning comes in testimony prepared for delivery today in Washington at a congressional hearing on the effects of laws that regulate truck lengths and weights.

The state House is considering a bill that won unanimous Senate approval to allow trucks with 53-foot-long semi-trailers on about 90 percent of the state’s highways. The state now limits trailer lengths to 48 feet except on interstates and other major multi-lane highways.

Mountain mayor warns against longer trucks

Mountain roads will become dangerous and tourism will suffer if the General Assembly allows 53-foot-long tractor-trailers to use narrow, hairpin roads where they've been ruled unsafe in the past, a Rutherford County mayor said Monday.

"My dad was a long-time truck driver, and he was one of the people that pushed for the ordinance that banned 53-foot trailers back in 1990" on several highways in Rutherford and Henderson counties, said Jim Proctor, mayor of Lake Lure.

Who will make the call on dangerous trucks?

The state House is about to take up Senate legislation to allow 53-foot-long tractor-trailers on all U.S., N.C. and interstate routes in North Carolina, and to give legislators a say in marking certain dangerous roads off-limits.

But who would actually decide whether to ban long trucks from, say, the hair-raising hairpins of U.S. 64 from Highlands to Cashiers?

The politicians? Or the state DOT experts?

Longer, wider, heavier ... fast

long truck, winding roadWithout debate today, the Senate quickly passed and sent the House a far-reaching measure to put longer trucks, wider boats and some heavier farm commodity trucks on the state’s highways.

Sen. Clark Jenkins, the Edgecombe County Democrat who sponsored SB 1695, called in sick — but his proposal rolled ahead without him ("State Senate votes to allow bigger trucks").

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