New Milford City Council approves ordinance limiting vehicle weight on Chernysk Route

NEW MILFORD – Heavy truck drivers who were crossing the Chernysk Bridge on their way through town may have to plan a new route – or pay a fine.

At a meeting of the city council on Monday, the council unanimously passed a decree restricting the maximum weight of vehicles on the Chernsk road to less than 16 tons (32 thousand pounds). The decree will go to a public hearing at 6:25 p.m. on May 23 in the E. Paul Martin room in Town Hall.

Aside from Cherniske Road, which is a scenic road, the law also applies to Parker Road, another scenic road, and New Preston Road.

The decree was initiated in response to concerns expressed by some residents and city council members regarding the weight limit for vehicles crossing the Chernysky Bridge.

Pictures were provided of what some residents said were 40-ton trucks crossing the bridge at a previous meeting. Residents were concerned that the bridge would not be able to handle the weight of those trucks.

Chernsk bridge, which is one lane, has been closed since January. The city council has approved the construction of a two-lane bridge, which is expected to be built next year. The city is installing a temporary one-lane bridge over Chernsk Road, which is expected to be completed in August. The bridge will be for emergency use only.

The ordinance approved on Monday stipulates that signs will be placed at each intersection of the three roads, indicating vehicle weight restrictions. Those who break the law will be charged with a $90 fine.

Public Works Director Jack Healey said the 32,000-pound truck was about the size of a township dump truck.

New Milford Mayor Pete Bass said exceptions to the law will be made, however, for local delivery or service vehicles.

Below the signs, Healey said a small sign will indicate local vehicles that deliver or perform services, such as oil trucks, pond water and logging are exempt from the law “as long as it is only local and delivered to those roads.”

“You don’t want to prevent that from happening,” he added.

The law will be enforced by the police, who will patrol the area. There will be no limit to the number of times someone can be fined for breaking the law.

Healey said the total weight the trucks can carry is listed on the outside of the trucks.

In creating the ordinance, which is permanent, Healey said he received guidance from the state Department of Transportation, Washington First Selectman Jim Brenton and Kent’s Director of Public Works.

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