Questions and Answers: Load Rating for the FAST Act’s Emergency Vehicles
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Questions and Answers: Load Rating for the FAST Act’s Emergency Vehicles

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      On December 4, 2015, the President signed into law the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (P.L. 114-94), which includes new truck size and weight provisions that effect bridge load rating and posting requirements. Among those provisions is the exemption of emergency vehicles from meeting the nationwide Interstate truck weight limits set forth in 23 U.S.C. 127(a). The emergency vehicles exempted from these weight limits by the FAST Act can create greater load effects in certain bridges than the previous legal loads. If not appropriately rated and posted (or restricted), bridge safety, serviceability, and durability might be compromised by these vehicles. Load rating and posting for all legal vehicles is mandated by the National Bridge and Tunnel Inspection Standards (NBIS and NTIS), pursuant to 23 CFR 650 subparts C and E, respectively. These legal loads now include the emergency vehicles provisions enacted by FAST Act. The purpose of this document is to provide answers to some of the common questions received from FHWA Division Offices and States prior to and after the release of FHWA’s Memorandum on Load Rating for the FAST Act’s Emergency Vehicles dated November 3, 2016 (the Memorandum).
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