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MLK Truck Detour Route
As of Sept. 24, 2009, the load rating on the Martin Luther King Jr. Viaduct changed. The maximum weight now allowed: 600 lbs. per inch of tire width, 20,000 lbs. single axle, 34,000 lbs. tandem, 80,000 lbs. gross weight. Common vehicle types: solo truck, truck-tractor and semitrailer, truck and trailer, log truck and pole trailer.

The rating applies to trucks traveling south on Highway 99E (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) at the viaduct (milepost 1.15) in Southeast Portland. Those trucks not conforming to the allowable weight described above must use the signed detour.
 
MLK truck detour map (click on the map for a pdf of the map)
MLK detour map
 
 
Carriers exceeding these limits on the bridge south of SE Stephens Street are subject to citation and fines, which can range from $92 for violation of posted limits, to thousands of dollars for excess weight violations.
 
The 70-year-old viaduct is structurally deficient. A $64 million project to replace the viaduct is currently under way and scheduled to be completed in 2011. 
 
The southbound viaduct currently carries about 25,000 vehicles a day. Highway 99E is a primary freight route for the Portland metropolitan area -- about 1,800 of the vehicles that use it are trucks. This is approximately seven percent of the total volume.
 
Overweight loads are being detoured off of SE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (Hwy 99E) at SE Mill Street. In general, the truck route is as follows: From SE Mill Street trucks will turn south onto SE 3rd Avenue and continue southeast on SE Division Street to SE 8th Avenue. After turning south onto SE 8th Avenue, detoured vehicles will use SE Division Place westbound to access the southbound Grand Avenue slip-ramp on the west side of the viaduct to get back onto Hwy 99E (McLoughlin Boulevard). The truck detour may change during some construction activities that close streets under the viaduct. Truck drivers are advised to follow the current detour signs during construction.
 
The detour route was developed by a Load Restriction Response Team, made up of ODOT bridge, maintenance, traffic and motor carrier division personnel; City of Portland traffic personnel; and representatives of the Oregon Trucking Association, Central Eastside Industrial Council, and Greater Brooklyn Business Association. The goal was to keep the detour route within the industrial area, and as short as possible.
 
Go to the MLK Viaduct Project Web site.