Thurston County enforcing temporary weight restrictions on roads

by: Richard Thompson Updated:

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Thurston roads Deputy Norm Wold spotted a crew installing cable near Olympia. They had a big work truck with a industrial generator onboard. The workers told KIRO 7 they were confident they were under the emergency weight restriction limits for county roads.

Deputy Wold did the calculations.  

"Looks like you are going to be under the gross vehicle weight, but you still have a 35 mph speed limit on all county roads," said Wold.

 As KIRO 7 crews continued their tour of Thurston County with the deputy, they discovered no garbage was being picked up in unincorportated parts of the county. Lemay trucks are too heavy to run their routes with current restrictions.

 The deputy did, however, find a furniture truck that had just dropped off a load.

Wold told trucker Ray Dronen about the situation.

"Furniture is not a perishable, so therefore you can't haul because you damage our roads because of the weight," said Wold.

 Dronen, who was coming from Montana, said he was shocked to learn of the weight restrictions in Thurston County. 

"How are we supposed to deliver our furniture to people's houses? I've been a driver since 1987. What's going on here? This is harassment," said Dronen.

 Wold, however, tells KIRO 7, until the ground safely thaws, the restrictions are necessary to avoid road cracking that could cost millions.

"The goal of all this is to protect our subsurface road from further damage from heavy trucks pounding on the road," said Wold.

 The county is now checking the ground thawing twice a day for improvement, but so far, it is still considered unsafe to allow heavier trucks back on the road.