Oklahoma Weigh Stations to Get a High Tech Facelift

Oklahoma

The first of nine high tech weight stations planned in Oklahoma opened for business last week. 

The $11 million weigh station opened in Kay County, Oklahoma, along Interstate 35 on the Kansas border.

The states current weigh stations are over 50 years old and only operate 8 hours a day.  The turnpike authority estimates less than 10% of commercial vehicles, operating on Oklahoma’s roads, were inspected last year.

Gary Ridley, director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, said the cooperation of ODOT, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will make possible the construction of nine POE stations around the state’s borders in the next several years, Tulsa World reported.

“A facility like this takes a lot of time, money and planning,” Ridley said. “We commend the corporation commission’s commitment and vision on the project and its help to protect the driving public as well as roads and bridges.”

“Our current weigh stations are drastically outdated, unable to handle the huge number of trucks that use Oklahoma’s roads, and many are poorly located,” Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas said. “The new POEs will help protect the state’s huge investment in roads and improve highway safety.”

The Transportation Research Board said that 1 overweight truck does as much damage to roads and bridges as 9,600 cars.

David McCorkle, former chairman of the American Trucking Associations and the Oklahoma Trucking Association and CEO of McCorkle Truck Line of Oklahoma City, told Tulsa World that the new facilities will lead to safer trucking operations and safer motoring on the state’s highways.

While it may take several years for all nine stations to be completed, the tolls are said to be equipped the following technology:

  • Static scales: for weighing trucks
  • Truck traffic control on I-35: sign flashes Trucks report when lights flashing
  • Public address speakers: inspectors communicate directly with driver stopped at scale
  • Computer communications: between station control tower and driver processing area
  • Computer document check: verification of truck credentials, safety scores and issuance of violations
  • Inspection bay: random truck safety inspection of brakes, suspension, frame, etc.

Technology to be installed in near future:

  • Message sign: controllable message sign at Kansas-Oklahoma border
  • Weigh-in-motion: electronic weighing of trucks at highway speeds on I-35
  • License plate reader: electronic license plate reader on I-35
  • Department of Transportation reader: electronic DOT number reader on I-35
  • Truck dimension reader: electronic recording of truck height, weight, length on I-35
  • Electronic message sign on I-35: tells drivers to bypass or report to POE station
  • Off-ramp weigh-in-motion: weighs trucks as they approach POE station
  • Truck traffic control: signals and controllable messages on off ramp
  • Software credential check: automatically checks truck registration and safety rating

Source: Oklahoma Department of Transportation