Winter load increases end February 26; Spring restrictions in effect until March 18

With warm weather on the horizon, MnDOT and the City of Columbus are taking steps to protect Columbus’, Anoka County’s and the entire state of Minnesota’s roadways as snow begins to melt and the ground begins to thaw.

As such, the Winter Load Increase (WLI) that began in the Metro Frost Zone on January 22, 2024, ended Friday, February 2, 2024. Coinciding with that update, the Metro’s Spring Load Restrictions (SLR) will begin Monday, February 26, 2024, until March 18. Additionally, all Middle-Range Overweight Permits and Full-Summer Overweight Permits will expire in the Metro Frost Zone on February 26, 2024.

All start/end dates go in effect at 12:01 a.m. of the day noted.

The WLI allows vehicles to operate up to 10 percent over the standard legal maximum load limit, while the SLR limit single-axle vehicles to 10,000 pounds or five-ninths of the gross weight limit for multi-axled vehicles on unpaved routes, and 10 tons on paved roads for all vehicles unless otherwise noted. Additionally, the City is imposing a limit of five tons per axle on City-maintained roads unless otherwise posted.

New Full-Summer Overweight Permits can be issued during the SLR for interstate use only, but Middle-Range Overweight Permits are not available until SLR are lifted. An end-date for this year’s SLR has been set for April 24, 2023. SLR came to an end on May 2 last year, the latest MnDOT has maintained restrictions since 2019.

Though Columbus’ lush landscapes may not indicate it, the City falls within MnDOT’s Metro Frost Zone, which encompasses the Twin Cities’ counties, the seven counties that share borders with Hennepin and Ramsey Counties and Chisago County to Columbus’ northeast. Travelers to nearby Isanti County should keep in mind that they would be crossing into MnDOT’s Central Frost Zone, which has different dates for their load restrictions.

Travelers can learn more information about vehicle load restrictions by visiting