The gradually warming temperatures and the melting snow in southeast Saskatchewan have resulted in the implementation of spring road restrictions.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways issued the first road bans order on March 14, and it came into effect on March 17. Among the highways affected are: Highway 18 from the junction with Highway 35 to the east junction with Highway 36; Highway 318 from two kilometres north of the junction with Highway 18 to the junction with Highway 361; Highway 350 from the U.S. border to Highway 18 junction; and Highway 361 from the Manitoba border to the Highway 9 junction.
Access roads for Alameda, Forget, Arcola, Midale and Roche Percee now have road bans. There is also a special 8,000-kilogram restriction in place for the Bienfait Highway 39 connector.
Rural municipalities that have now enforced restrictions include Argyle (RM No. 1), Estevan (No. 5), Cambria (No. 6), Souris Valley (No. 7), Browning (No. 34), Antler (No. 61) and Techumseh (No. 65).
Rural municipalities are responsible for all municipal roads, and may issue overweight permits within their municipality. They may also set weight restrictions lower than those published for Saskatchewan highways.
Spring weight restrictions, or road bans, are enforced each year to protect the structure of the highway, or the grid road, while temperatures warm up, and the frost is released from the road bed. Restrictions can be enforced for up to six weeks. If necessary, subsequent six-week orders can be issued to further protect the roads.
The southern part of the province is typically the first area to have restrictions.
The Ministry of Highways website has details on which highways, access roads and rural roads are subjected to road restrictions. Road ban orders are issued on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Tuesday orders come into effect on Friday, and the orders posted on Fridays come into effect the following Monday.