A state-of-the-art weigh station in the Bay of Plenty is set to make the state highway network safer for everyone.
The NZ Transport Agency has unveiled the $2million Paengaroa weigh station, which will be used to check that trucks on the road are within legal weight and safety limits.
Built by Higgins, as part of the Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL) project, the facility includes a weigh-in motion bridge, control building, inspection pit, an area for truck parking, and cutting edge brake testing equipment.
The facility will be maintained by the Transport Agency, and operated by the NZ Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU), who will carry out regular truck weight and safety tests at the site.
Transport Agency acting Highway Manager Andrew Scott said the facility was an important tool that would help improve road safety.
'The majority of freight companies do the right thing and stick to the rules, however as our population and economy grows, so will the volume of freight and journeys needed to move it,' he said.
'In 2012 freight volumes nationally were estimated at 236 million tonnes and that figure is forecast to rise to 373 million tonnes by 2040.
'This weigh station will help police keep overloaded and poorly maintained trucks off our roads while minimising delays for compliant vehicles, and improving safety for everyone.'
Sergeant Dennis Hogan from the CVIU said the modern equipment at the new facility would allow police to perform a multitude of safety checks on trucks passing through.
'The CVIU team will be looking at everything from truck weight, headlights, suspension and steering to the brake quality,' he said.
'Western Bay of Plenty is a popular and thriving area to live but is also a key corridor for major exports through the Port of Tauranga which means a significant number of large freight vehicles on the road.
'This new weigh station is all about road safety and will help us to ensure heavy vehicle operators are at the top end of legal requirements, both in terms of vehicle mechanics and weight limits.
'This is not about catching people out; it's about encouraging everyone to lift their game for the safety of the freight community and the wider community.'
Mr Scott said the weigh station would also reduce road repair costs and create a level playing field for those in the freight industry.
'Overloaded trucks cause more wear and tear on our roads, which can be costly to repair,' he said.
'The weigh station will help solve that issue and it will also help create a level playing field by preventing some operators undercutting others because they are not spending what they should on core safety requirements.'
The facility was officially opened during a ceremony on site today. (Wednesday July 23)
The TEL is on track to open ahead of schedule, in late 2015.
For more information please contact:
Waikato and Bay of Plenty region
NZ Transport Agency
T: 07 928 7908
M: 021 928 413