The Harbour View Weigh Scale Station facility which was built at a cost of $100M was recently opened in the Harbour View Community, Kingston.
The opening of the facility is part and parcel of the wider Vehicle Weight Enforcement Programme which has been designed to address the problem of overweight trucks damaging the nation’s road surfaces. Similar facilities are expected to be constructed in the southern and northern end of the island in the near future; these will augment the use of mobile scales which are also currently being used in the Programme.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, State Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works & Housing, Richard Azan said, “Truck drivers or owners, in overloading their vehicles, will be doing so at their own peril. For far too long, this wanton disregard for the state of public roadways has acted against the efforts to improve the road surfaces.” “Now, it is time for action and that is what the opening of this facility is about,” he added.
The facility which will be operated by the Island Traffic Authority on behalf of the Ministry, had started operating on a reduced scale a week before the official opening. During that time over 100 trucks passed through the facility with over 30 tickets being issued. New Head of the ITA, Ludlow Powell said that he intends to use the facility as a model for others that will come after. In that regard, he said that the operations there will be carried out in a professional and transparent manner thereby ensuring its sustenance.
And speaking on behalf of Permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell, Director of Technical Services in the Ministry, George Nicholson outlined that the Ministry in an effort to protect the road network embarked on the Weight Limit Enforcement Programme. He said this resulted in the establishment of a Vehicle Weight Enforcement Unit in the ITA and the rollout of a comprehensive public education campaign funded by the Road Maintenance Fund.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the ITA and Head of the National Works Agency (NWA), E. G Hunter chronicled the NWA’s involvement in the Project. He said that the NWA was instrumental in the technical aspects of the construction of the Station. He said the NWA will be acting as a watchdog to see that the facility operates in a manner which will ensure that the government receives the requisite returns on its investments.
Trucks which are overweight while on their journey will be identified and directed to the Station. At the station, they will be weighed and depending on the nature of the infraction, they will be ticketed. The ITA reserves the right to detain vehicles which in their estimation has excess weight which is divisible. In such cases, the truck might be detained while the operator finds another unit to which the excess weight might be transferred.