Monday, January 31, 2011

Tompkins County Legislature Deliberates Law to Protect Roads

Tonight and tomorrow the Tompkins County legislators are holding a pair of meetings on the proposed road law. Tonight’s an information meeting and tomorrow night is the public hearing.

Up for discussion: an extension of the county code that would require non-permanent commercial and industrial activity generating heavy truck traffic on county roads to obtain permits for the roads they will use, and post bonds for potential damage.

Legislators emphasize that the new law won’t have an impact on local contractors and businesses. The purpose is to regulate the kinds of heavy road use that has the potential to damage roads, such as large-scale construction projects, logging or gas drilling.

They define high-impact truck traffic as more than 10 truck trips a day to or from a single project site, for more than three days in any given week. It also includes trucks with a gross weight that exceeds 20 tons. Local farmers won’t have to worry about milk shipments and feed deliveries because the law specifically excludes agricultural activities.

Under the new law, managers of temporary projects would have to apply for permits that would designate their travel routes and any restrictions. The companies generating the traffic would have to submit documentation about the condition of roads before obtaining their permit, and they would have to post a bond.

You can read a copy of the local law by going to the legislature's page and clicking on “Lla-11” (it’s a PDF). You can read a longer article on this issue in the January 31 issue of Tompkins Weekly.

The information meeting is tonight, 7 pm in the first-floor conference room of the County’s Old Jail office building on 125 E. Court Street in Ithaca.

The public hearing is tomorrow, February 1 at 5:30 pm in the Legislative Chambers of the Tompkins County Courthouse at 320 North Tioga Street in Ithaca.

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