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Home > Technical Subjects >Traffic Issues>Truck Restrictions on State and State Aid Highways

MaineDOT Policy on Truck Restrictions on State and State Aid Highways

Acting on the recommendation of Carl A. Croce, Director, Bureau of Planning, and Bruce Ibarguen, Engineer of Traffic, the Commissioner approved the creation of a Department policy on July 13, 2005 that reaffirms State Rule 17-229, Chapter 104, entitled: Travel on State and State Aid Highways. This policy retains the concept that the MaineDOT has sole jurisdiction over restriction of commercial vehicles on state roads, and that municipalities may not prohibit commercial vehicles on state roads whether they are inside "urban compact" areas or not. However, this policy allows time-of-day restrictions of commercial vehicles, in very narrow circumstances, as long as there is substantial agreement between all affected parties, including neighborhoods, trucking firms, municipalities and other stakeholders.

Department Policy

Simply stated, no restrictions can be put on State or State Aid Highways whether these roads are in rural areas or “urban compact” areas, unless specifically restricted by the MaineDOT Commissioner.

This is affirmed in State Rule 17-229- 104:

“It is the goal of the State of Maine, Department of Transportation that Maine’s public highways be safe and efficient and contribute to the economic growth of the State and the well-being of its people. MaineDOT will make good faith efforts to have Maine’s public highway network meet the social, economic, and environmental needs of the public. In addition, public highways are intended for the overall general use of the traveling public and for business, recreation, and overall access to areas across the State. Therefore, MaineDOT recognizes that there is an affirmative right for all individuals and entities, public and private, domestic or commercial, to travel on all State or State Aid highways in Maine. This right shall exist until the Commissioner of MDOT suspends or otherwise restricts any such traffic on any highway under MaineDOT jurisdiction.”

However, there are growing issues relative to through commercial truck traffic on State and State Aid highways passing through residential areas.  In certain cases, municipal officials are requesting some type of relief for homeowners who have chosen to live along these busy corridors.  Because the requests usually respond to neither a severe safety issue nor the structural condition of a road or bridge, there is an option for municipalities to request time-of-day through truck restrictions on certain State roads from the MaineDOT.  The following steps must be taken:

  • The municipality must make a written request to the Department. Requests from an individual or groups of individuals will be referred back to the municipality.
  • The request must be made following substantial public process and buy-in by all affected parties. Municipalities shall be encouraged to conduct neighborhood/stakeholder meetings before submitting a request.
  • The request must not significantly affect traffic in municipalities other than the municipality which made the request.
  • There is a reasonable alternate route for all traffic affected by the posting, as documented in part by the buy-in of affected commercial interests.
  • The alternate routes do not create severe safety or congestion concerns.
  • The municipality has passed a municipal traffic ordinance as described in Title 30A § 3009.         

These restrictions may apply to all through commercial traffic over 26,001 pounds. It is understood that heavier local traffic (as opposed to through traffic), such as moving vans or fuel delivery trucks, should be allowed. However, because enforcement issues are largely local, and because the affected homeowners are entirely local, there is no statewide interest arising from this local choice of 26,001 pounds so a municipality may increase it if desired.

Basis for Authority

  • 23 § 1 -- State Highway Law -- General Provisions
  • 23 § 52 -- State Highway Law -- DOT -- General Powers and Duties
  • 23 § 53 -- State Highway Law -- DOT -- Classification of Highways
  • 23 § 1351 -- State Highway Law--Protection of Highways --Installation of signals, devices & signs
  • 29A § 2395 -- Motor Vehicles -- Ways requiring special protection
  • 30A § 3009 -- Municipalities & Counties -- Authority of municipal officers to enact ordinances
  • 30A § 3001 -- Municipalities & Counties -- Ordinances -- Ordinance Power
  • State of Maine Rule 17-229-104 -- Travel on State and State Aid Highways
    • This Rule is a brief statement affirming the basic right of all highway users to travel on all State and State Aid highways in Maine.


This page last updated on 1/9/13