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Bigger rigs could drive on Wisconsin roads if Congress OK's bill

Trucks from Schneider National (courtesy of Medina Gazette).
Trucks from Schneider National (courtesy of Medina Gazette).

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - Much larger trucks could be driving on Wisconsin highways if Congress decides the efficiencies of bigger loads are more important than the concerns of road damage and driver safety.

It's a provision contained inside the $260 billion transportation bill introduced Tuesday by House Republicans.

The maximum weight for interstate trucks could be increased to 97,000 pounds. The current weight limit in Wisconsin and most states is 80,000 pounds -- unless the truck has a permit to exceed that limit.

Companies which ship household goods in tractor trailers say the bigger loads would cut down on traffic, decrease fuel usage and basically keep prices lower.

Opponents say the heavier trucks would cause more road and bridge damage. The heavier trucks would also take more distance to stop and deaths from accidents involving large trucks are already up by 9 percent.