JEFFERSON CITY - As water levels rise along the Missouri River system, many are watching protective levees and shoring up threatened areas. Among those most concerned are farmers who have grain and livestock in areas threatened by rising floodwaters and possible levee breaches.
"In light of recent heavy rainfall and high river levels, we want to give producers every opportunity to move livestock, supplies and equipment to higher ground," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "With the increased threat of flooding, it is vital that Missourians monitor the situation and take any necessary precautions to protect their lives and livelihoods."
Earlier this spring, the Missouri Department of Agriculture requested, and the Missouri Department of Transportation agreed, to allow heavier than normal loads of farm commodities from flooded areas to safer storage. This allowance will be extended through noon on Aug. 1, as will an allowance for heavier loads of sand and gravel on selected Missouri highways. Farmers, private and for-hire motor carriers may carry up to 10 percent more than their licensed weight on Missouri highways.
However, the heavier loads are not allowed to use interstate routes or national defense highway routes.
Overweight permits will not be required on loads up to 10 percent heavier than normally allowed. All other traffic and motor carrier regulations that normally apply remain in place. This allowance is in effect through noon, Monday, August 1, 2011. While the waiver is in effect, participating motor carriers are limited to:
•A loaded, gross weight no greater than ten percent (10%) above the gross licensed weight of the commercial motor vehicle;
•Transport of commodities from the farm to another facility, transportation between facilities and empty return trips all within the State of Missouri.
•When crossing a bridge, the driver must restrict the vehicle speed to no more than thirty miles per hour (30 mph) and must center the truck between two lanes of the bridge. The truck driver must yield to oncoming traffic.
•Travel on highways other than Missouri interstate highways - NO TRAVEL IS ALLOWED ON MISSOURI INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS OR NATIONAL DEFENSE HIGHWAY ROUTES.
All travelers are advised to visit the MoDOT Traveler Information Map at http://www.modot.org/ for up-to-date road closure information. Detour and other highway flooding information can be found at www.modot.org/flooding .
National defense highways in Missouri include:
U.S. 65 - between Interstate 70 and U.S. 60 in Springfield, Mo.
U.S. 60 - From U.S. 65 in Springfield to U.S. 63 in Cabool, Mo.
U.S. 63 - From U.S. 60 in Cabool to the Arkansas state line
U.S. 71 - from Kansas City to the Arkansas state line
U.S. 50 and Mo. 23 - From Whiteman Air Force Base to I-470 in Kansas City
Mo. 17 and U.S. 63 - From Fort Leonard Wood to U.S. 60