Sometime in the near future, heavy truck traffic laws will be enforced on certain streets in St. Clair, including Springfield Road.
By unanimous votes on Monday night, the St. Clair Board of Aldermen passed two ordinances pertaining to the truck traffic issue. The first was a more general law that disallows “heavy trucks on certain city streets.” The other specifically refers to both East and West Springfield Road.
Earlier this year, Mayor Ron Blum put together a committee charged with studying the truck traffic situation in the city. Ward 1 Alderman Zach Fuchs chaired the group.
“We tried to approach this to have something that really didn’t tie our police department’s hands or the city’s, but still gave us something enforceable,” Fuchs said during Monday’s meeting.
The catalyst for having such an ordinance in the books was Springfield Road, which early this year was vastly improved from the city limits to Main Street.
The road was paved along that entire stretch and sidewalks were added on the west end. New or updated water and sewer lines were installed throughout.
“This has been the subject of a great deal of discussion,” City Administrator Rick Childers said. “Our intent with this is to refer to the most damaging vehicles that most frequently tear up our streets.”
The more generic ordinance restricts and/or prohibits travel on designated streets within the city. According to language in the law, trucks affected will be semitrailers, tandem axle dump trucks and cement mixers.
Violation penalties could be as high as $500.
The ordinance states that the city has received complaints from citizens regarding heavy truck traffic on residential streets. It also has been suspected that some semitrailers use streets like Springfield Road to avoid the Interstate 44 weigh scales.
Also, city officials are concerned that certain streets may not be able to sustain heavy truck traffic.
The ordinance also states that truck routes will be established in the city. Those routes are not listed.
There will be exceptions to the law, such as pickups and deliveries, during designated detours and others.
Signage will be erected to show where heavy trucks may and may not travel.
The second ordinance deals directly with Springfield Road.
“The prior ordinance creates the authority to prohibit trucks on certain city streets,” Childers said. “This ordinance gives the authority to prohibit heavy truck traffic on Springfield.”
Language in this ordinance states that “the city has adopted the appropriate ordinances (No. 1726) to restrict such traffic.”
It then goes into the specifics of Springfield Road, but contains similar language as the previous law.
St. Clair Police Chief Bill Hammack said his officers will not enforce the ordinance until the proper signage is erected.
Childers said that signage probably will read, “Heavy trucks prohibited.”
Signs will be erected as soon as possible and will be placed along streets within the city limits where the truck travel is prohibited.
Both ordinances unanimously were passed by the four-member board of aldermen.