MONTPELIER, Vt.  — The administration of President Barack Obama says it will seek to raise permanently weight limits on interstate highways.

At the request of U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Susan Collins of Maine, a temporary rule that allows trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds on the interstates will be made permanent through a provision included in a federal appropriations bill.

Before the pilot program began last year, trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds couldn’t travel on most interstate highways.

Supporters say the increased weight limit saves time and energy and is safer because it gets trucks off rural and secondary roads. But critics say heavier trucks compromise the safety of other motorists and damage highways and bridges.