Thaw period%%- Official dates

​​​​The Ministère reminds users of heavy vehicles and shippers that the authorized load limits are reduced during the thaw period on all public roads. This is done every year to account for the road network’s lower bearing capacity during this period.

However, due to the current situation relating to COVID-19, the ministère des Transports has removed the reduced load limits during the thaw period as of March 25 for vehicles or combinations of vehicles carrying only food products, sanitary and medical supplies, pharmaceutical product and goods necessary to produce food products, in accordance with the Order recently published in the Gazette officielle du Québec. These vehicles or combinations of vehicles may instead comply with the load limits normally applicable outside thaw periods.

A vehicle or combination of vehicle must comply with the two following conditions to be exempted from the reduced load limits:

  1. carry only food products, sanitary and medical supplies, pharmaceutical product and goods necessary to produce food products;
  2. comply with the load limits normally applicable outside thaw periods.

Any other vehicle or combination of vehicle must comply with the reduced load limits during the thaw period.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions​ on the subject.

For the thaw period of 2020, the official and predicted starting dates of the load restriction period for each of the thaw zones are indicated below.

Official dates for 2020

Zone 1

  • From Monday, March 9 (00:01) to Friday, May 8 (23:59)

Zone 2

  • From Monday, April 6 (00:01) to Friday, June 5 (23:59)

Zone 3

  • From Monday, April 6 (00: 01) to Friday, June 5 (23:59)

Depending on changes in weather conditions, the start and end of the load restriction period can be moved ahead or postponed.

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