Brazoria County’s new weigh station is up and running, already making roadways safer, Assistant County Engineer Clay Forister said.
The safety of the public and law enforcement, in conjunction with commercial vehicles being pulled over for regulation checks, has been a concern in past years. County officials expect the weigh station to enhance road safety, County Commissioner David Linder said.
After Department of Public Safety Trooper E.J. King was injured during a traffic stop in 2014, Brazoria County Trooper Blaine Chesser advocated for the construction of a commercial motor vehicle inspection station, Sgt. Stephen Woodard said.
“The inspection facility in Brazoria County would add a safety benefit to conduct inspections off the main portion of the roadway. The facility allows for a safe environment for both the Trooper and driver alike,” Woodard said.
The facility has been in the works for years. Designs for the station started in 2015 and groundbreaking began last year, Linder said.
The project was planned to be completed in April of this year but was not operational until this month. Rain pushed the construction to last longer than expected, Forister said.
On Sept. 3, there was a soft opening of the weigh station to introduce it to the community. That day, commercial vehicle enforcement troopers working the station weighed 34 commercial vehicles. Of those 34 vehicles, 18 went through an inspection. Three of the inspected vehicles were put out of service, meaning they are unable to be on the road until violations are resolved, Woodard said.
He said the station is not meant to hurt truck drivers. Troopers give more warnings than tickets, Woodard said.
“It is not about cracking down on drivers but more about being an asset for them to use,” Woodard said.
Although the station is being used, it is still in the process of being furnished and has yet to have an internet connection installed. Everything should be set by the beginning of October, Woodard said.
Linder said this is a chance for the county to work out any kinks.
The facility cost nearly $3.3 million. Of the cost, two-thirds was covered by federal funds and one-third was covered by local funds. Half of the proceeds from citations will go back to the county and help pay off the project, Linder said.
Linder emphasized this project was not installed for the purpose of being a revenue generator. The weigh station’s main purpose is safety, he said.
The need for a weigh station has become evident because of pronounced industrial growth in the area. This growth has produced heavier truck traffic along 288, Linder said.
“The goal is to have everyone go home at the end of the day,” Linder said.
The weigh station is on the east side of SH 288 between FM 523 and CR 45, Forister said.
Commercial vehicle drivers will be required to exit to the facility when flashing lights indicate the station is operating, Forister said.
It will be operating on a schedule designated by the local commercial vehicle enforcement supervisor, Woodard said.