Fewer heavy trucks rumbling through Maine towns

Posted Jan. 10, 2010, at 10:26 a.m.

FREEPORT, Maine — Maine towns are already seeing fewer heavy trucks creeping through town thanks to a pilot program allowing heavier trucks on all interstate highways.

President Barack Obama signed a measure Dec. 16 allowing the heavier trucks on Maine’s interstates. A similar one-year pilot program was approved in Vermont, as well.

Sens. Susan Collins in Maine and Patrick Leahy in Vermont led efforts in their respective states to create pilot programs allowing heavier trucks.

Supporters say the pilot program will reduce energy costs while improving safety by reducing the number of trucks on the road and getting them off rural and secondary roads. But critics say heavier trucks compromise the safety of other motorists and damage highways and bridges.