FHWA authorizes truck ban on Kentucky Route 151

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer

Truckers who use Kentucky Route 151 (Graefenburg Road) will have to find a new route. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has taken the state highway off the National Truck Network after receiving authorization from the Federal Highway Administration. The order went into effect on April 29.

The route is located east of Louisville and crosses through two counties, Franklin and Anderson.

According to an order signed by KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas, the ban affects trucks exceeding 13.5 feet in height and 96 inches wide. Length cannot exceed the following measurements:

  • Semitrailers – 65 feet including body and load when operated in a tractor-semitrailer combination;
  • Trailers – 48 feet including body and load when operated in a tractor-semitrailer combination, not to exceed one per truck and not operated in a tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination;
  • Single-unit trucks – 45 feet including body and load.

The order comes on an emergency basis for safety considerations after several crashes involving commercial vehicles occurred on the highway. According to KYTC spokesperson Ryan Watts, there were 99 crashes on the highway from 2013 to 2015, 11 involving commercial vehicles. The data did not determine fault.

FHWA authorized the emergency ban while the state compiles data. The state will need to go through the standard procedures of a formal notice on the Federal Register, including public comment, before following through with any recommendations to make the ban permanent.

Since the truck ban happened without much notice, law enforcement will temporarily be giving warnings to truckers driving on the highway. KYTC is currently in the process of putting up signage and notifying the public.

Trucks are required to take Exit 53A off Interstate 64 to U.S. 127 south. Access to local industry along KY 151 will not be affected due to a mile allowance from U.S. 127 and I-64, according to a press release.

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Diesel prices rise for fourth consecutive week

By Land Line staff

The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel increased 6.8 cents from last week to $2.266 per gallon for the week ending Monday, May 2. This marks the fourth consecutive weekly increase after a short-lived one-week decrease.

Diesel price averages went up in all 10 regions in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. The largest average increase was in the Midwest region, where prices at the pump rose by 7.6 cents per gallon. Prices were up 4.3 cents in the New England region, the smallest increase in the nation.

Following are the average prices by region as reported by the EIA:

  • U.S. – $2.266, up 6.8 cents
  • East Coast – $2.306, up 6.2 cents
  • New England – $2.334, up 4.3 cents
  • Central Atlantic – $2.396, up 5.3 cents
  • Lower Atlantic – $2.232, up 7.3 cents
  • Midwest – $2.232, up 7.6 cents
  • Gulf Coast – $2.137, up 6.3 cents
  • Rocky Mountain – $2.255, up 5.3 cents
  • West Coast – $2.481, up 7.5 cents
  • West Coast less California – $2.357, up 7.5 cents
  • California – $2.579, up 7.4 cents

According to ProMiles, the average retail price at truck stops was $2.241 on Monday morning, a 7.4-cent increase from last week.

ProMiles, the software company that maintains the websites ProMiles.com and TruckMiles.com, continues to offer its own weekly fuel price information. The company’s fuel price data are presented in the same format used by the EIA in the agency’s weekly reports. The prices include a national average as well as regional averages, and comparisons to the previous week and the previous year.

A key difference between the EIA and ProMiles reporting is the type and number of fueling stations the company surveys in order to calculate its averages. While EIA surveys 400 truck stops and convenience stores nationwide, ProMiles uses its direct feed from thousands of truck stops to develop its averages.

TruckMiles.com listed the daily average price for Monday at $2.314, with truckers in Rhode Island paying an average of $2.659 per gallon, the highest in the nation. Truckers in Oregon are paying a national low of $2.066 per gallon, according to the site. No states in the Lower 48 states have been listed in excess of $4 per gallon at the pump since Dec. 4, 2014. All 48 states in the contiguous U.S. have average prices below $3. For the first time since December, no states are reporting average diesel prices below $2.

In separate energy news, according to the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude (also known as West Texas Intermediate) for June delivery was trading at $44.75 at noon CDT on Monday, a $2.11 increase from last Monday and a $1.17 decrease from its last trading price. The price of Brent crude oil for July settlement was listed at $45.93, a $1.45 increase from last Monday and a $2.20 decrease from its last trading price.

Reuters reports Monday’s sudden drop in oil prices, after April’s largest one-month gain in nearly seven years, was sparked by reports of production nearing all-time peaks for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. AAA has indexed diesel prices at $2.202 for Monday, 61.9 cents cheaper than this time last year and 9.9 cents higher than a month ago.

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