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Oklahoma seeks more funds for truck weigh stations

The state has enough money lined up to build five port of entry truck weighing and inspection stations similar to one that opened last month in Kay County, a transportation official says. The new stations have the technological capacity to weigh moving trucks and check their brakes.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: May 8, 2012

The state Corporation Commission, which staffs the weigh centers, agreed four years ago to provide about $54 million, to build the weigh stations. The money comes from the commission's underground storage tank fees, which generates about $6 million a year for the project through 2016.

Ridley has been seeking additional money from lawmakers the past couple years to pay for all the stations.

“There will be three left,” he said. “We figured it up that we were about $30 million short.”

The weigh stations have been a cooperative effort by three agencies. The Public Safety Department has troopers assigned to the stations to conduct inspections as well as to chase down noncompliant truckers.

Ridley said the Transportation Department is providing about $4 million to the project; it is responsible for building and maintaining the centers.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is providing about $11 million to build a weigh station on the Will Rogers Turnpike near the Missouri border, Ridley said.

The Public Safety Department has troopers assigned to the stations to conduct inspections as well as to the border.

Sensor system

The Kay County station replaces an older weigh station. When fully operational, it will feature weigh-in-motion technology that checks trucks' weight, size and permit status through road sensors, allowing drivers to receive a green light before entering the facility, Ridley said. The system is already in use in other states.

Other inspection stations will be along I-40 in Sequoyah County near the Arkansas border and I-35 in Love County, U.S. 69/75 in Bryan County and U.S. 271 in Choctaw County, all of which will be near the Texas border. A fully automated center will be built off U.S. 412 in Delaware County near the Arkansas border. All are within three miles of the state lines.

“These are where we have determined are the greatest need,” Ridley said. “These are high-volume areas. ... We're talking about a lot of trucks coming into the state.”

It's not just the damage to the highways and bridges, which is amazing how much damage overweight trucks can do to bridges and highways, but it's also the safety aspect. So that the light vehicles that are traveling on the road know that the truck traveling next to them or right behind them is a safe vehicle.”

Gary Ridley

Oklahoma Transportation Department director


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