Colorado Adds Scale Bypass
January 25, 1999
Colorado is installing PrePass weigh station bypass systems.
Using computers and wireless data transponders, the state is automatically gathering truck weight and registration information at several of its 11 fixed ports of entry, and more are planned. Trucks that are traveling with legal weights and have the right operating credentials can drive past truck weigh stations at highway speeds.
Last year, 5.5 million trucks passed through the state’s fixed and mobile weigh stations. That figure is expected to grow by 4% a year. The growth “is outrunning our employees, who are working with a manual system,” said Jerry Pierce, chief of Colorado’s Port of Entry Section, in an interview with the Denver Post. “It’s not fiscally responsible to hire enough staff to cope with the truck traffic using a manual system.”
Although some in the industry are worried about who has access to transponder data, such as tax and law enforcement officials, many trucking companies appreciate the time and money saved.
State budget analysts estimate the automatic bypass system will save the trucking industry about $20 million over the next five years, through less idling time, a cut in overall fuel costs and time saved with fewer stops.
The first Colorado ports to incorporate automatic vehicle identification and weigh-in-motion opened last summer on northbound Interstate 25 four miles north of Trinidad and on westbound I-70 at Dumont. On June 30, automated ports will open on I-25 near Fort Collins; I-25 near Monument; and I-70 near Limon. Near the end of the year, PrePass will be added to ports on I-25 near Loma and on I-76 near Fort Morgan. Although Colorado is currently using PrePass, other vendors may be added to the system as they become operational in the state.