Measure to get overweight trucks off BQE moves closer to reality
'Weigh-in-motion' mechanism would capture data, impose fines like tolls
A high-tech, motion-sensing system that senses the weight of trucks without a physical inspection could get many overweight trucks off the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, especially the fragile triple-cantilever section underneath the famed Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
The Brooklyn Heights Association, in its newsletter, highlighted bills sponsored last year by local Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon and Senator Brian Kavanagh (A2316A and S2740B, respectively) to establish a pilot program that uses weigh-in-motion systems to enforce restrictions on overweight trucks on the BQE.
Weigh-in-motion systems record the axle weights and gross weights of vehicles that drive over the site of the system, without the need for the vehicles to stop. The program imposes fines upon the owner of the vehicle for failure to comply with existing weight restrictions.
“As many of you know, this legislation is extremely important since overweight trucks contribute to the deterioration of the BQE,” the Heights Association said.
On June 3, the bill passed in the New York State Senate 58-4. Its supporters hope for a similar success in the Assembly before the end of session on June 10.
The BHA also thanked Councilmember Steve Levin as well as staff and officials at the city’s Department of Transportation who worked to support the creation and passage of the bills.
A panel headed by Carlo Scissura of the New York Building Congress issued a report in early 2020 calling the condition of the triple-cantilever structure “alarming” and saying that it may become unsafe within five years. The city was considering several plans to reconstruct the stretch just before the pandemic hit.