One from the Road: Oversize loads attempting to use the roundabout

Ron Moore
St. John News
An aireal view of the Stafford County roundabout south of St. John shows the diamond shape of the U.S. Highway 50 intersection.
Ron Moore is an over-the-road truck transport driver from Stafford County.

A lady posted a picture on Facebook of a long oversize load going through the smaller roundabout at US 50 and US 281. For those of you who are not familiar with this intersection, let me describe it.

There is a larger-than-average roundabout for cars and trucks. A diamond was constructed around it for long and wide loads. This makes it easier for the long loads to bypass the roundabout.

So what is the problem? How many of these types of roundabouts have you seen? I know of two. This one in Stafford County and the other in Marion County. How many of you didn't understand the concept of the diamond until after it was built?

The routing of long loads going around the diamond is new. Many drivers of cars and oversized vehicles have not quite figured out how to manage this roundabout. If you don't live here, it can be somewhat confusing.

There is a signposted as you drive by the entrance of the diamond reading, Authorized Vehicles Only. Now, this can send mixed messages.

What does that sign mean? If you ever hauled an oversized load, you might understand. When you do have an oversize load, you have permits. They give you the routes that you need to take.

Some agricultural loads are exempt. Everything else has to have permits. Have you ever tried to read government writing? I had an oversized load going through Amarillo.

I was so confused and couldn't make any sense out of it. It wanted me to take the east loop from the north to the south side and then take a road back north into town to catch the southbound interstate.

I took the west loop and drove straight to the interstate. They needed to send a map with the permits so a person could figure out their routes. I can imagine how they explain the diamond.

I would safely say that most drivers hauling oversized loads have never seen this type of intersection. The lead pilot car should know but guess what, they don't live here either.