Caltrans announced Monday it is issuing special permits authorizing “overweight” trucks to deliver emergency COVID-19 supplies in Southern California and across the state.

“Authorizing these special exceptions clears a path for greater volumes of material vital in the fight against COVID-19,” Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said. “Emergency medical supplies and equipment, groceries, perishable items, water and countless other essential items will now reach their destinations more rapidly than they did before, at a time when people need them most.”

The permits increase the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight from 80,000 to 88,000 pounds and will be valid until further notice.

To expedite the permits, Caltrans is performing advance review and analysis on major corridor routes, including the following freeways: I-5, US-101, I-15, SR 60, I-405, SR 99, I-10, SR 91, I-80, and I-710.

The emergency declaration provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations moving essential goods in support of relief and preventive measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Essential goods” are defined as:

— medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;

— supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectant;

— food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores;

— immediate precursor raw materials such as paper, plastic or alcohol that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items above;

— fuel; and

— equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19.

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