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Congress bill will take heavy logging trucks off Duluth's city streets

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Residents in the Duluth area will have fewer logging trucks going through their neighborhoods this winter after restrictions were lifted.

A bill passed in Congress, introduced by Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan, will lift the limits on trucks using the 24-mile stretch of Interstate 35 between Duluth and Scanlon, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

The newspaper notes that logging trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds cannot legally use that stretch and instead are forced to divert onto city streets and county roads, annoying both drivers and residents alike.

In a press release, Nolan said that they tend to use Superior Street during the winter months as their through-route, but now will be able to use I-35 following the amendment to a bipartisan surface transportation bill – provided they weigh less than 99,000 pounds.

"By doing so [allowing trucks to use I-35], we will keep pedestrians, smaller vehicles and the logging truckers themselves safer over the winter months – undoubtedly preventing accidents and saving precious lives," he said.

FOX 21 notes that lifting the restrictions will go down well in Duluth, with the measure being backed by among others, Duluth Mayor Don Ness, Police Chief Gordon Ramsay and the Greater Downtown Duluth Council.

"These trucks are prone to tip and spill their logs on sharp turns. It’s happened before. And sooner or later, if we don’t pass this simple fix, someone is going to be killed or seriously injured," Congressman Nolan told the station.

KBJR 6 reports there had been several logging truck accidents in recent years near to the downtown Duluth area.

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