This is for all intents and purposes the same regulatory situation as it is today and has been for many years.
Two Cargo Units
Three Cargo Units
From the western border crossing standpoint, only the three Interstate highway crossings of the 28 western border crossings being studied are directly affected by the weight limit aspect of the ISTEA freeze. These are Interstate routes I-5, the I-15, and I-29. And in the case of I-15, the Canadian RTAC GVW limit of 137,800 pounds is already allowed by ISTEA from the Canadian border to Shelby, Montana. The GVW limits on all but these three crossings are under State authority.
The Dimensional Aspects of the ISTEA freeze: For the western border States, the ISTEA freeze limits “box lengths” to the following for the cargo-carrying units of combinations with two or more cargo-carrying units:
Not Allowed 95 100 100 Not Allowed
From the western border crossing standpoint, 21 of the 28 western border crossings under study are directly affected by the length aspect of the ISTEA freeze. From the Canadian perspective, none of these ISTEA cargo-carrying length limits would be considered particularly restrictive, even in Minnesota and Washington.
If Federal TS&W regulation were devolved to the States, including removal of the ISTEA freeze, the regulatory situation in these States would revert to what it was without the freeze. This is for all intents and purposes the same as it is today and has been for many years. Whether or not the States would wish to alter the above cargo-carrying length limits is not known. Eliminating the ISTEA freeze by devolution to the States could facilitate the efforts of the member States of the Western Association of State Transportation Officials to improve regional uniformity in TS&W regulations as these relate to GVW limits on Interstate highways.
What would happen to western border trucking if there was no change in the current limits and scope of application of Federal TS&W provisions?
More specialized western border vehicles will be introduced. This would include increased use of: six-, seven-, and eight-axle tractor-semitrailer units, and; seven- and eight-axle truck-trailer units.