New bill in Congress aims to provide relief for logging trucks in Duluth, Superior

By KBJR News 1

March 1, 2014 Updated Mar 1, 2014 at 7:02 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota's 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan has introduced a bill that aims to offer temporary relief to logging trucks, and Downtown Duluth roads, for the next couple of months.

This comes after an incident last month on London Road where a logging truck lost its load, causing a massive clean up operation, and stalling traffic.

The Democratic Congressman introduced the House version of the bill on Thursday, with a co–signature from Wisconsin Republican Congressman Sean Duffy.

The bill would allow logging trucks to use Highway 35 to get around Downtown Duluth until near the end of April.

In Minnesota, Representative Nolan says the head of the Department of Transportation has authority to make special exceptions like this.

According to the Congressman, it makes no sense to have loaded logging trucks going through downtown Duluth and Superior, especially during this harsh, snowy winter.

He cites safety and economic concerns for his reasoning.

"People have argued, 'well, it's hard on the interstate highways,' and I say, 'you think it's not hard the streets in the City of Duluth and St. Louis County? Of course it is," said Rep. Nolan, "so, we've got to have some flexibility in our laws. Regulations are good, but when they're rigid and without flexibility for special circumstances like this we need to make some changes."

Minnesota's US Senator Al Franken plans to introduce a Senate version of the bill early next week.

Representative Nolan says he plans to dive deeper into the issue when the Federal Highway Transportation legislation's renewal process gets underway later this year.

Billy Wagness
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