Alabama has only one permanent weigh station, put into operation only two years ago. It's not likely to get any more, despite state troopers' belief that more are needed.
In contrast to Alabama's lone facility on Interstate 20 near the Alabama-Georgia line, some southeastern states have 20 to 30 permanent weigh stations, according to a report in the Birmingham (AL) News on Monday.
Between 1,200 and 2,300 trucks go through the station per day, and 10% of those are overweight, according to weigh station personnel. The scales are open only 40 hours a week. The state weighed about 1 million trucks last year, compared to more than 8.1 million in neighboring Mississippi, which has 32 permanent scales.
Alabama relies on portable scales and 20 weigh-in-motion scales to enforce truck speeds.
"We need more permanent weigh stations, as well as the portables out there now," Jean Vonderau, director of safety for the Alabama Trucking Assn., told the paper.
The state says it won't be building any more weigh stations soon because of the cost. The station near Heflin, AL, costs $2 million to $3 million a year to maintain, according to state Department of Transportation officials. Chief Engineer Ray Bass told the newspaper that there is not a lot to gain by building more weigh stations, because "there are very few trucks that are not legal that will go through a weigh station."