Drought prompts IDOT to permit hay loads on interstates
measure boosts efficiency, logistical support for agriculture
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[September 04, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- On Friday,
Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider announced a new
policy that allows farmers and other agriculture industry workers to
transport hay loads of up to 12 feet in width on all state routes,
including interstates. The summer drought adversely affected the
production of hay due to pasture conditions, and this action will
significantly improve efficiency in the processing and
transportation of hay throughout Illinois.
Previously, farmers were permitted to transport hay loads up to 12
feet in width on state roadways, but this did not include the use of
"Coming from a farming community, I understand the severe
challenges and unpredictability the weather can have on the overall
production demands of the agricultural industry," said Schneider.
"This crucial temporary change in policy equips farmers and truck
operators with a special opportunity to cut transportation costs and
travel times throughout the remaining harvesting season."
A copy of the official authorization must be in possession of the
operators as they move hay loads and will need to be available upon
request by law enforcement or the Illinois Department of
Transportation. In addition, vehicle owners and operators would take
responsibility for any damage caused directly or indirectly by the
movement. All loads more than 8 feet, 6 inches in width, allowed
during specific time periods, must display operable oscillating,
rotating or flashing amber lights. "Oversize load" signs are
mandatory on the front and rear of all vehicles with loads over 10
feet in width.
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"The Department of Agriculture appreciates and fully supports
efforts such as this to assist our farmers during this prolonged
drought and early harvest season," said Acting Director of
Agriculture Bob Flider.
This authorization is effective immediately and expires Dec. 31.
To access IDOT's official notice or to view additional guidelines
on this opportunity, visit
Department of Transportation file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]