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Alberta eases road bans to help get grain moving

The province is trying to ease the burden for farmers sitting on bins full of grain.

It’s allowing them to haul grain from storage to elevators on provincial highways that are subject to road bans.

Permits to do so can be obtained at no cost, with grain trucks allowed to travel at 100 per cent axle weight on banned roads — provided no damage occurs on those roads.

“Relaxing road ban limits at a time when our farmers need some flexibility is the right thing to do,” said Alberta Transportation Minister Wayne Drysdale.

The special permits will remain in effect until June 30, during which time Alberta Transportation staff will monitor road conditions and suggest alternate routes if deemed necessary.

Applications for road ban exemptions can be obtained by contacting Alberta Transportation’s central permit office at 1-800-662-7138.

In the case of municipal roads, farmers should contact the municipality directly.

Road bans, which are generally implemented in Southern Alberta first and move north as temperatures increase, are put into place to protect roadway structures when they are at their weakest.

Oiled roads and those that have not received final paving are the most vulnerable to damage.

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