Posted by: project151 | January 25, 2008

Route 151 & 6 Updates : Nelson County, Virginia 1.25.08

P-151 recently received the following comments to our site from a reader:

Dave R writes:

I checked into this. In case anyone is interested, the bridge on Rte 6 over the North Fork of the Rockfish River is rated at an absolute maximum permissible load level of 97020 pounds. (44.1 metric tons) 120,000-pound trucks are therefore too heavy to use this route. Nelson County, it’s time to press VDOT to close this route to trucks heaver than the lowest rated bridge load on the entire route.

There is a weigh station on Rte 151 – it’s time to open it and start sending overweight trucks right back to I-64 and US 29, where they belong. Better yet, make them drop their loads and come back to get them in trucks that don’t exceed the road’s limits. That should get their attention.
Has anyone else noticed that national level carriers don’t send trucks down this road? It’s only the mom and pop shops and independents doing this, and they are not going to get much backing from the majors in any counter action they may attempt.

This fact might provide an effective legal tactic to apply direct pressure against these reckless operators. Any truck driver / company involved in an accident should be sued without exception; the fact that all major carriers decline to use this route can be cited as evidence of negligence. (failure to observe professional norms of conduct)
In any case, no opportunity to sue a trucker involved in any incident on this route should be passed up. If enough judgments pile up their own insurance carriers will keep the off the road.

The best way to get these guys off the road is to make it so expensive that they do the safe thing and stick to the main roads. Turning them around at the weigh station would be a good start.

(I haven’t gotten to all the bridges yet, just that one. There are probably more that can’t handle large trucks. 🙂 )

Jan 25, 4:21 PM

Previous initial comment from earlier in the week:

Dave R writes:

This section of road is one of the most dangerous I have ever had to use and it is made so mainly by truck drivers. This highway was designed for 40,000 pound, 40 foot (trailers), 84″ wide trucks. Now they are running 120,000 pound, 53 foot (trailer), 102″ wide trucks. Guess what? They don’t fit. They are too large, too heavy, and too aggressively driven. There is absolutely no margin for error, and their driving is anything but error-free.

Since these highways were designed for much smaller vehicles, and given that standard engineering practice has long been to design bridges for twice the maximum expected load, I have to wonder what load limits exist for the existing bridges on these two highways. For some reason, all those signs seem to have been removed.

If it could be shown that these trucks are too heavy for the road, they could be banned. Has anyone checked into this?

These are some interesting points Dave and very worth checking into. We will be asking our friends at the National Safe Trucking Coalition about this.

Excellent points again Dave, thank you for your input & hard work!
P-151

Visit the Truck Safety Coalition here for more news on many of the same issues nationally.

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Responses

  1. This information is all very interesting, but I would like to see some real information from officials. This should be published with a disclaimer stating that it is simply from an independant study, nothing scientific. Please fix this as it could be unlawful to post.

  2. Hi PM, thanks for the comment. There is nothing unlawful about someone’s observations or opinions. You’re right we have no verification that what Dave sent us is scientifically correct or to the letter of the law, but his opinion has merit.

    Blogs are generally always views and opinions and obviously don’t trump legal documents of traffic codes.
    P-151

  3. I love how you all are trying to help rid the accidents and trucks off of 151. For instance one time I was traveling on 151 with my friend Matt in my car. We were heading south on 151 and this car was going north. We were just passing Ashley’s Market when this car just turns really fast to get to the store and it scared the crap out of me because i never had an accident before then and my heart was racing. If i had not hit the break just a little bit I do not know what may have happend. So if you people dont mind could you email me on the plans for the 151 & 6 project please. Thanks, Earl J Mcnulty


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