By Rich Wicks | Times Vedette

The annual road embargo at Lake Panorama will begin on Monday, Feb. 12. But what exactly is the embargo all about?

That question was posed to Lane Rumelhart, projects manager for the Lake Panorama Association (LPA). He provided the information that follows.

“The term ‘embargo’ is used by LPA as a five-ton weight limit on all LPA roads,” Rumelhart said. “LPA implements this each spring, when roadbeds thaw and become incapable of holding heavy loads. LPA has seal-coated roads. Many members mistake this for asphalt, but seal coat roads are not nearly as strong as asphalt. Moisture works its way up through a seal coat road much easier, similar to a gravel road.”

Rumelhart explained the financial reasons for the embargo.

“It costs more than $30,000 per mile for seal coat,” said Rumelhart. “This cost has increased exponentially the last five years. Members caught abusing the embargo may face fines per the board-approved schedule of fines. Restitution for damage to roads are billed on a scale according to the extent of the damage. More information on this can be taken from LPA’s rules and regulations 4.1 (k)(7).”

During the embargo, one option is to make plans to transfer heavy loads to lighter vehicles at designated locations. Deliveries can be coordinated with security at two locations. The east drop-off site will be at the old maintenance shed, which is on the north side of 200th Street. The west side location will be the parking lot off the east side of Redwood Road near the Panorama West golf course.

The LPA reports that both UPS and FedEx have reviewed their compliance strategies with the LPA and are utilizing acceptable vehicles. Although these vehicles have a high profile, LPA has determined them to be acceptable from a weight perspective. LPA members receiving routine deliveries from UPS and FedEx do NOT need to make special arrangements. LPA has also notified Panorama Schools and encourages parents to contact the school with any questions regarding pick-up and drop-off locations.

Because the embargo is based on weather conditions, Rumelhart says it’s impossible to predict the exact duration of the term.

“The embargo period may last one or two weeks, or greater than a month. Mother Nature dictates when heavy loads can safely pass on LPA roads,” Rumelhart said.