All Season Road List

Seasonal Weight Restrictions for Otsego County Road Commission can be located at under the link “Doing Business with Us”.

Frost Laws in Otsego County

Every year around February or March we get some warm weather and the frost starts coming out of the ground. As it comes out, it leaves soft spots in the ground. You have probably noticed it when the bottom seems to fall out of your driveway in the Spring. Well this same thing is happening under pavement also. If a heavy vehicle drives over the pavement when the ground is soft, the pavement will cave in and crack. It isn’t long after this and we have a large pothole beginning to form.

The counties, cities and State Highway Department decided they needed to protect against this accelerated deterioration of the roads and so developed Spring Frost Laws. These Frost Laws go into effect at different dates each year depending on the weather and are controlled separately by each agency. The Frost Laws limit truckers to 35 MPH and put a lower load limit on them. The Frost Laws have serious effects each spring on the loggers, chip haulers, potato farmers, garbage haulers and oil production truckers in Otsego County. All Extended Transportation permits are invalid during Frost Laws. Frost Laws generally are on for more than a month each spring. Signs are put up, notices are run in the paper, and information is placed on the website to alert the public that they are going into effect. Violators are issued tickets and are fined by District Court by the pound for each pound over the legal limits. Large overloads can be fined hundreds of dollars and may also get their truck held up until it is made legal. Fortunately, due to increased awareness and cooperation, the amount of fines have steadily gone down in recent years. None of the revenue derived from fines is given to the Road Commission. A small percentage goes to court costs and the rest goes to the County Library.

Some roads are exempt from Frost Laws. These roads are called Special Designated Roads. They have a deeper gravel base and a thicker layer of asphalt to support heavier loads when the ground is soft. Some Special Designated Roads in Otsego County are I-75, Old 27, M-32 and Dickerson Road. Special permits are sometimes issued to move loads exceeding the Frost Laws but “security against road damage” is required to cover road repairs if any damage is done.