Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
Patrick J. Quinn, Governor
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PART 554



Section 554.501  Scope

a)         Permits may be issued for overdimension objects and vehicles if they have been reasonably disassembled.  Objects must be loaded within legal dimensions, if at all possible.  Multiple objects, loaded side-by-side, end-to-end, or on top of each other, may not cause the overdimension.  However, more than one overdimension object may be transported if it does not result in another dimension that exceeds legal limits.

b)         Permits to move empty overdimension vehicles may be obtained, but these vehicles may not normally be used to transport legal size loads.  Consideration will be given to the movement of a legal size object requiring a special carriage that results in an oversize vehicle.  An overdimension vehicle may be used to transport an overdimension object.

c)         Permits will not be issued for empty or loaded double-bottom units that exceed legal maximum size or weights.

d)         Nondivisible load or vehicles.

1)         Permit loads are deemed to be reasonably dismantled (nondivisible) if, when separated into smaller loads or vehicles, further dismantling would:

A)        Compromise the intended use of the load or vehicle; that is, make it unable to perform the function for which it was intended;

B)        Destroy the value of the load or vehicle; that is, make it unusable for its intended purpose; or

C)        Require more than 8 work hours to dismantle using appropriate equipment. The applicant for a nondivisible load has the burden of proof as to the number of workhours required to dismantle the load.

2)         The Department may treat emergency response vehicles, casks designed and used for the transport of spent nuclear materials, and military vehicles transporting marked military equipment or material as nondivisible vehicles or loads (see 23 CFR 658.5, April 1, 2006).

Section 554.502  Legal Dimensions

Form BT 753 illustrates legal dimensions.  Also see Sections 15-101, 15-102, 15-103, and 15-107 of The Illinois Size and Weight Law.

Section 554.503  Exceptions to Legal Limitations

a)         Fire apparatus, equipment for snow and ice removal operations owned or operated by any governmental body, implements of husbandry temporarily operated or towed in a combination upon a highway, provided such combination does not consist of more than three vehicles or, in the case of hauling fresh perishable fruits or vegetables from farm to the point of first processing, not more than three wagons being towed by an implement of husbandry, are exempt from size, weight, and load limitations [625 ILCS 5/15-101(b)].

b)         Length limitations do not apply to vehicles operated in the daytime when transporting poles, pipe, machinery, or other objects of a structural nature 80 feet or less in length, except upon Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays; nor do length limitations apply to utility companies when objects are required for emergency repairs [625 ILCS 5/15-107(g)].

c)         Width limitations do not apply to loads of hay, straw, other similar products, of implements of husbandry being transported between sunrise and sunset [625 ILCS 5/15-102(b)(1)]; nor do they apply to portable buildings not more than 14 feet wide with not more than 1 foot overhang along the left side of the hauling vehicle, designed and used for agricultural and livestock raising operations, which are being transported not more than 10 miles on any route not part of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways during the period from sunrise to sunset and on which are mounted at least two red cloth flags at least 12 inches square, provided that a State Police trooper shall escort the hauling vehicle when it is using any part of the left lane when crossing a two-lane bridge [625 ILCS 5/15-102(b)(3)].

d)         Persons, teams, motor vehicles, and other equipment, while actually engaged in work upon the surface of the highway, also are exempt, but legal limitations do apply to such persons and vehicles when traveling to or from such work [625 ILCS 5/11-205(f)].

e)         Often a question arises as to whether a piece of equipment is exempted or whether a permit must be obtained for its movement.  A guide is found in an Attorney General's Opinion, dated November 15, 1949, concerning an overwidth bulldozer used occasionally for farm conservation work.  The opinion reads in part:  

            "It would seem that the bulldozer is used chiefly for a commercial operation and in view of such use would probably not be within the exemption.  There are many items which could be used for commercial purposes in aid of a farming operation or to conserve the soil, but of course, all such items do not fall within the exemption of the statute.  The character of their use must necessarily be a determining factor."

Section 554.504  Overwidth up to 14 Feet 6 Inches Wide

a)         Permits may be issued for widths up to the practical maximum of 14 feet 6 inches, except for toll highways and certain expressways in the Chicago area.

b)         The maximum width for which permits may be obtained is 10 feet on controlled access highways in Cook County, except Interstate Route 80, Interstate Route 57 from U.S. Route 6 (159th Street) south, Illinois Route 394 from Interstate Route 80 south and Interstate Route 290, north of Interstate 294 and Illinois Route 53.

c)         Separate permits must be obtained from the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (630-241-6800) for travel on Illinois toll highways.  The maximum width permitted on these highways is 10 feet, except a width of 12 feet is allowed on the sections of the tollroad system that carry Interstate Route 80 and U.S. Route 51.

d)         Loads exceeding 14 feet 6 inches in width will generally be routed over multilane highways whenever possible even though additional travel distance may result.  An alternate routing could be approved if, for example, the traffic volumes on the proposed two-lane routing were low and the highway geometrics were sufficient to allow the unit to move without disrupting traffic flow.

Section 554.505  Width Exceeding 14 Feet 6 Inches

a)         In the interest of safety, the movement of vehicles or objects exceeding this width is restricted.  Construction activity or other highway conditions may result in lengthy delays in the issuance of a permit or may preclude issuance altogether.

b)         Movement of vehicles or objects exceeding 18 feet wide will generally only be authorized on Interstate and other multilane controlled access highways.  All the movements on these highways must be able to maintain any minimum posted speeds, except at locations where the permit requires reduced speeds.

c)         Permits may be issued to move a vehicle or load over 14 feet 6 inches wide, provided:

1)         Roadway data maintained by the Permit Office disclosed that the movement can be made without seriously jeopardizing other traffic or highway facilities.  If these data are inadequate, a field investigation shall be conducted.

2)         The movement will not delay emergency vehicles that may need to travel on the proposed routing.

3)         The move is not one of many to be made in the course of regular operations.

d)         Movements shall be confined to a single traffic lane and shall be made in such a manner that the rest of the roadway will be open at all times so the flow of other traffic will not unnecessarily be obstructed.  Whenever the width of the object or the roadway conditions require the use of more than a single traffic lane, other traffic will be given the right-of-way over this movement.  The driver shall remove the vehicle from the roadway when necessary to allow an accumulation of traffic to pass or when so directed by a police officer.

e)         Moves of vehicles or objects over 16 feet wide require an engineering investigation.  A field investigation will not be required, for each of several identical moves, provided they are all completed within 30 days of the initial investigation.  If a field investigation is required and the applicant does not request issuance of the permit within 30 days after he is notified the movement is feasible, it will be necessary that the Permit Office verify the movement is still acceptable with the District Office.

Section 554.506  Horizontal Clearances

Horizontal clearances at bridges and other obstructions must exceed the overall width of the load by 24 inches or more. Where practical, the load may be raised over handrails in order to clear.  However, if this is proposed, the vertical clearance between the top of the handrail and the underside of the load must be at least 18 inches.

Section 554.507  Overlength

a)         Permits are required for empty vehicles that exceed legal dimensions, for objects that exceed 80 feet long, and for loads on a single vehicle or on the first vehicle of a combination that protrude 3 feet beyond the front bumper.  Protruding sections of a single vehicle (such as the boom of a mobile crane) may extend more than 3 feet beyond the front bumper.

b)         The practical maximum length for permit movements is 145 feet.  Permits may be issued for greater lengths on the basis of an individual movement analysis.

Section 554.508  Overheight

a)         The maximum overheight for which a permit may be issued is governed by overhead clearances.  The height of the move should be measured from the uppermost point of the object, after it is loaded, to the ground.  The practical maximum height is 15 feet.

b)         The maximum height authorized on Chicago area controlled access highways is 13 feet 6 inches.

c)         On all highways, a 3-inch clearance generally is specified to allow for bounce.  Overheight movements that are extremely long may require additional clearance at underpasses where the approach pavement dips abruptly at the structure.

d)         The Permit Office does not check the vertical clearance of a route when the applicant indicates the height of the vehicle and load is "legal".  If the applicant indicates the height is 13 feet 6 inches, which is the legal height, no additional clearance is provided when the vertical clearance of the route is checked.

e)         For movements at 16 feet or greater in height, the applicant shall perform a route survey, listing all overhead obstructions, to ensure the clearances will enable the object to pass under without difficulty.

f)         For movements at 17 feet in height, or greater, it is the responsibility of the applicant to contact all companies with overhead utility facilities and to indicate on the application the company, name of person contacted and telephone number.  An engineering investigation, consisting of a route survey by District personnel, will be required.

Section 554.509  Maximum Size Manufactured Home, Modular Home, or Oversize Storage Building

The maximum size manufactured home, modular home section, or oversize storage building combination that may be moved in Illinois is 16 feet 0 inches wide and 115 feet long. This includes the towing vehicle.  (See 625 ILCS 5/15-304.)  Movements under authority of a Limited Continuous Operation Permit shall be restricted to a maximum height of 15 feet.

Section 554.510  Mobile Home Frames

Permits for overdimension mobile home frames loaded on regular or lowboy semitrailers or on specially designed vehicles that are normally accepted as semitrailers and are normally licensed as semitrailers may be issued. A permit may be issued to tow one mobile home frame.  A permit will not be issued for one or more frames loaded on another mobile home frame or on a frame and wheel assembly.

Section 554.511  Buildings

The movement of buildings is similar to other overdimension moves. The section provides additional information that pertains to building moves.

Section 554.512  Size of Building that may be Moved

The size of building that may be moved generally is contingent upon the physical limitation of the highway over which the building is to be moved and the effect of the move upon the flow of traffic.  Porches or protruding sections generally must be removed to reduce the building to acceptable proportions.  Loose boards, bricks, etc., must also be removed for safety.

Section 554.513  Distances Buildings May be Moved

Buildings may be moved the same distances as other overdimension moves as outlined in Section 554.505.

Section 554.514  When Work is Required on Highway

If, in connection with a permit move, work must be done on a State highway, such as tree trimming or removal and replacement of signs, signals, or guardrail, written permission must be obtained from the Highway District involved.


Section 554.515  Overhead Clearances

Removal or raising of overhead wires and cables is the responsibility of the building mover.  Necessary arrangements must be made with the utility companies.

Section 554.516  Routes upon Which Buildings may be Moved

a)         Generally, buildings may be moved on or across low traffic volume routes that have sufficient vertical and horizontal clearances.

b)         Movements of large buildings on or along high traffic volume routes will not be considered favorably.  These routes include major arterial routes near a central business district and multilane access controlled highways.

c)         Applications will not be approved for movements on or across Interstate or other multilane full access controlled highways.

Section 554.517  Conditions Applicable to Building Moves

In addition to the general provisions applicable to overdimension or overweight movements, one or more of the following special provisions may apply to the movements of buildings:  

a)         If it is anticipated the movement of the building will be delayed by any utility line adjustments or tree trimming, the Department will require this work to be performed prior to beginning the move.

b)         Any traffic signals or signs that must be removed for vertical or lateral clearance  shall be removed immediately prior to and replaced immediately after the building passes the signs or signal installation.

c)         When a detour for other traffic is necessary, the permittee shall ascertain that an approved detour has been established, that detour signs and barricades are erected and removed when required, and that all signs and barricades conform with standards contained in the current State of Illinois Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways to be codified as (92 Ill. Adm. Code 546).  In planning a detour route, consideration shall be given to the handling of emergency service vehicles.

d)         The permittee shall present a barricade plan for all affected streets. This plan must be approved before start of the move.  The permittee is also responsible for ensuring that movement of emergency vehicles can be accommodated at all times.

e)         Movement is authorized only when the shoulders are dry and firm, frozen, or have sufficient bearing capacity to support loads imposed by the weight of the building passing traffic.

f)         If bridges are to be crossed during the movement, it is necessary that the weight of large buildings be provided to allow completion of a structural analysis.  The Permit Office may require verification of the weight prior to issuance of the permit.  The Permit Office will require verification of the weight of the building prior to the issuance of the permit if the declared weight is close to the structural capacity of any bridge being crossed or if it is not consistent with the weight of previous buildings of similar type and dimensions and the routing includes crossing structures.

g)         Additional insurance or security may be required in accordance with Sections 554.108 or 554.905.

h)         Moves will not normally be allowed when the Permit Office is closed or on the day preceeding a holiday or holiday weekend.  However, in some parts of the State, Sunday mornings are the best times to move certain objects, such as buildings, due to the lower traffic volumes.


Section 554.518  Building Sections

a)         Regulations governing permits for the movement of prefabricated house or building sections fall within two categories.  The governing category depends on the type of vehicle on which the module is transported.  The governing categories are movement as a house trailer and movement as a building.

b)         Building sections moved under manufactured home regulations are those transported on a frame and wheel assembly, on a trailer, or on a vehicle closely resembling a manufactured home frame.  The section must be specifically identified.  The movement is made under the same restrictions, conditions, and provisions as a house trailer move and may not exceed 16 feet 0 inches wide and 115 feet combination length. Movements under the authority of a Limited Continuous Operation Permit shall be restricted to a maximum height of 15 feet.

c)         Building sections moved under building regulations are those transported on a regular lowboy semitrailer with a fifth wheel connection and with the axles near the rear of the semitrailer.  A specially designed vehicle may also be used if it is normally considered as a semitrailer, with the axles near the rear, and it is normally licensed as a semitrailer.

d)         Permits for multiple moves in excess of 16 feet 0 inches wide over the same route or from a central point will not be issued without exceptional justification of need.

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