AAA joins opposition to increased truck weights in GOP highway bill

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The truck-weight provision, which is one of several in the GOP highway bill that has already drawn criticism, is also being opposed by the freight rail industry.

“Americans dont want 97,000-pound trucks or huge multi-trailers up to 120 feet long on our nations highways,” the Association of American Railroads said this week in a news release. “Nor is it fair that even more of the publics tax dollars will be used to pay for the road and bridge damage inflicted by massive trucks.”

But the Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP) is arguing that an increase in the allowed weight of trucks is long overdue.

“The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act recognizes that states need the ability to create safer, greener, more efficient shipping on their interstate highways,” CTP Executive Director John Runyan said in a news release.

“Truck capacity has dropped by 16 percent since the recession started, and the 30-year-old federal vehicle weight limit compounds the problem by forcing many trucks to travel when they are only partially full.”

Mica has said some provisions in the bill, such as the truck-weight component, could change before the measure is ultimately approved by House members.

Mica told reporters during a Tuesday news conference announcing the transportation bill that he planned to allow amendments during a scheduled markup hearing Thursday.

“This bill isnt final,” Mica said of the measure Tuesday, before telling reporters they should “pack a lunch” for Thursdays hearing.