Seasonal weight restrictions are legal limits placed on the loads trucks may carry. During late winter and early spring, when seasonal thawing occurs, the maximum allowable axle load and speed is reduced to prevent weather-related breakup of roads. See our Seasonal Weight Restrictions page for more information
So called “All Season” roads are those that have been designed and built with additional strength and durability to withstand truck traffic loads all year long, and thus they are not subject to the reduced loading restrictions that are placed on most roads during the early spring in Michigan. Roads not constructed to “All Season” standards are subject to a reduction in allowable loading and speeds during the period each spring when thawing of the ground below the roadbed softens the roadbed and makes the surface susceptible to damage from heavy loads.
Potholes occur when snow and ice melt as part of Michigan’s seasonal freeze-thaw cycles. The resulting water then seeps beneath the pavement through cracks caused by the wear and tear of traffic. As the temperatures cool to freezing at night, the water becomes ice and expands below the pavement, forcing the pavement to rise. As the shallow divot occurs under the surface and the pavement breaks, forming a pothole. A pothole is typically fixed by cleaning out the loose debris and filling it with hot and cold asphalt patch.
Birth of a Pothole – Courtesy Michigan DOT