The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 28, 2013

Damaging roads: Increasing truck traffic not using designated route

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Increased truck traffic not in the designated truck route is causing damage to arterial roads in Enid, something officials want to see stop.

“With increases in oil and gas production and overall volume of traffic, we’re seeing more and more trucks outside of the truck route, which is putting a strain on city roadways and arterial streets not capable of carrying that tonnage,” Enid Police Department Capt. Dean Grassino said. “We will take enforcement action.”

Often, truck drivers are attempting to take a short cut or avoid busier intersections. However, the traffic is causing harm to roads not built to handle the heavier traffic.

Enid truck route map

In 2008, Enid designated a truck route through city ordinance. As well as creating a truck route, the ordinance also made it a Class D offense for a first-time violator, resulting in a $154 fine. A second offense within three years is a Class C offense, punishable by a $254 citation.

The ordinance makes exceptions for vehicles such as fire trucks, certain farm implements and buses, and also includes exceptions for trucks making a delivery to or from a business or making a service call.

Grassino said those trucks stopped off the truck route must be able to show a bill of lading or paperwork verifying their reason for being off the route. Trucks are required to take the most direct route from their off-route destination and back.

“It could result in a citation or a warning,” the captain said.

Truck routes are designated as U.S. 81 and U.S. 412 highways; Southgate, east from U.S. 81; Breckinridge Road, from 78th to 16th; Purdue, from U.S. 81 to Oklahoma 64; 30th, from U.S. 412 to Southgate; and Willow Road, from U.S. 81 to Oklahoma 64 bypass.

“With the damage to the infrastructure being done by the amount of truck traffic, we’re going to be pretty no-tolerance of truck traffic,” Chief Brian O’Rourke said. “We’re going to have to be just to protect the infrastructure.”

He said EPD could work with Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Size and Weights Division, or conduct enhanced enforcement of the truck route ordinance to solve the problem.

Steve Kime, city of Enid director of public relations, said the purpose of the truck route was to protect the city’s infrastructure.

“The problem is the increased traffic is staying off these designated routes,” he said. “A lot of the arterial streets are not capable of handling the stress from the heavier traffic.”