Contracts were signed for the supply and installation of four weigh scales at the Ministry of Transport and Works on Wednesday, March 4, 2009.

The contract has been awarded to Advance Scales & Equipment Limited in the sum of US$506,680.00 and will be for a period of ninety (90) days.

The Scales will be located at the following locations:

1.     In the vicinity of the Ferry Police Station in St. Catherine

2.     Harbour View in St. Andrew

3.     Coral Spring in Trelawny and

4.     Agualta Vale, St. Mary

The supply and installation of the Scales will be financed through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) under Segment 2A of the Northern Coastal Highway Improvement Project.

The implementation of the weigh scales programme comes against the background of the overloading and the improper loading of trucks traversing the island’s road network. This practice has increased significantly over the past 15 years thus exacerbating the damage to the island’s arterial road network. The excess weight on these trucks is directly proportionate to the amount of damage done to most of the roads and bridges not constructed to hold up to the constant grind of such large vehicles. It is expected that the placement of scales at these strategic locations will not only serve to avert the overloading of trucks but help to reduce the cost required to maintain the integrity of the road infrastructure.

Commenting on the initiative, Minister Mike Henry noted that this was an idea whose time had come. Said he, “While we are cognisant of the role of heavy units in the transportation of goods and material across the island, we are also aware of the kind of deleterious effect that such units, when overloaded, can have on the road network. It is against this background that we are placing these vehicle weigh scales at these points so that offenders can be caught and made to observe the requisite rule.”

Also speaking at the signing ceremony was Mr. Ivan Anderson, Managing Director of the National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC). He explained that offending trucks when they are detected, will be made to offload the amount of the material or good that leads to the unit being overloaded. The operator of the Unit would then be asked to make arrangements to deal with the excess weight.

NROCC is the executing Agency on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Works for this particular project.