The short line industry stands against initiatives to increase the size or weight of trucks on our nation’s highways. Heavier trucks present public safety issues, as well as increase the need for road and bridge maintenance – both costs that are heavily underwritten by the American taxpayer.
Railroads, particularly short lines, can serve the public good and the local economy by providing an efficient means of transporting goods – particularly those that are bulky or heavy.
With Congress looking to develop transportation infrastructure legislation, the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks (CABT) sent a letter today to the House and Senate transportation committees and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works calling for members to oppose allowing increases to truck length or weight limits on federal highways. ASLRRA joined the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and other national organizations in signing the letter, which references the recently released 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The letter notes that roads received a “D” grade, unchanged from the previous report four years ago, while bridges received a “C.” The issues facing the nation’s roads and bridges would only be worsened by increased truck sizes. The letter goes on to point out that for the damage larger trucks would cause to the national highway system, that effect could be significantly more severe on local roads and bridges, increasing the financial burden on state, county and local governments.