Commerce improved as restrictions reduced on US-95, Idaho’s main north-south highway

BOISE – Commerce within Idaho has been improved as restrictions to most legal loads have been reduced for the 538-mile stretch of US-95 within Idaho, which travels through 13 counties from the Oregon Border north to the Canadian Border. This is the result of a multi-year effort by the Idaho Transportation Board, based on information from industry leaders on the need to allow greater ease of commerce on the highway.

US-95 is the state’s primary north-south route, and was established as one of the country’s first national highways in 1926.

Recent improvements to the highway, particularly between Council and Grangeville, have resulted in a reduction of restrictions to the route. Because of those improvements, the highway will now allow up to 53-foot trailers without a permit and permitted vehicle combinations up to 115 feet in overall length, with a 6.5-foot off tracking and weight limit of up to 129,000 lbs.

“These improvements allow all of US-95 to have the same legal and permitted requirements from one section to the next, thus increasing the safety, mobility and economic opportunity for commercial vehicles specifically, and all motorists in general,” said Idaho Transportation Board Chairman Bill Moad.

Previously, permitted vehicle combinations were only allowed in loads up to 95 feet long and a 5.5-foot off track — a 21% increase in allowable length and 18% increase in allowable off-tracking — allowing more freedom in the movement or goods and services while also maintaining a safe roadway.

Off-tracking refers to the different paths that the front and rear wheels take when cornering. The rear or trailer wheels will take a shorter path around the curve, corner or turn. Thus, the driver has to compensate for this by taking the curve, corner or turn wider. So, the 6.5-foot off-track is the difference in the path of the first inside front wheel and of the last inside rear wheel as the vehicle negotiates a curve.