Whitmer lifts weight restrictions on roads to aid coronavirus response

The Detroit News

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Monday temporarily lifting weight and other delivery-related restrictions for vehicles carrying essential supplies to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The executive order, which extends until 11:59 p.m. April 13, calls for suspending all state and local seasonal load restrictions for deliveries that meet immediate needs. That includes:

►Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of the coronavirus.

►Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and preventing community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectants.

►Food for emergency restocking of stores.

►Equipment, supplies and people needed to manage temporary housing, quarantine and isolation facilities related to the pandemic.

►People designated by federal, state or local authorities for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes.

►People necessary to provide other medical or emergency services.

“This is a crisis unlike any we’ve dealt with before and we must do everything we can to ensure our communities have the resources they need to get through it as safely as possible,” Whitmer said in a statement.

“This order will help us deliver the supplies people need to slow the spread of coronavirus and protect the most people we can. It’s crucial that during this time, we continue to work together to protect our families and loved ones. I will keep working with leaders across state government to put the best interest of Michiganders first.” 

Under the order, all state and local road agencies must work quickly to process permits that allow non-seasonal load restrictions to be exceeded for deliveries that meet immediate needs, officials said. Meanwhile, all state and local restrictions on the noise, and timing of loading and deliveries are suspended for loading and deliveries that meet immediate needs. 

Dozens of cars wait in line to be seen by medical staff during a drive-up screening process at Beaumont hospital in Royal Oak, March 16, 2020. Members of the public concerned that they may be infected with the coronavirus were able to get screening done from their vehicles.

“These steps ensure that state, county, city and village road agencies are collaborating to be sure supplies vital to supporting COVID-19 relief efforts can be delivered quickly and efficiently,” said Paul C. Ajegba, director at the Michigan Department of Transportation. “We are going to get through this by working together and taking collective action for the greater good.”