Government set to launch new machines on weighbridges

Updated: October 14, 2011

The Government is set to install modern weighing machines at its Weighbridge in Athi River to speed up the movement of trucks at the facility.

Weigh Bridge

The new machines will be able to weigh three trucks within less than one minute, a departure from the past where one truck took more than three minutes to be weighed.The new machines are being installed by Avery East Africa, which was contracted by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).

According to Avery East Africa Chief Executive Officer Mike Ohawa, the move will see clearance of goods speed up by ensuring that lorries are weighed in record time.”We are installing weighing equipment that will measure three axles at once. Soon, no lorries will be piling up at Mlolongo,” he said. He, however, wants the law courts in Machakos to speed up the cases for axleload abuse.

“The new weigh machines will ensure three axles are measured at once, reducing realtime spent by trucks on the roads,” he said. Mlolongo weighbridge manager Edwin Ranji said CCTV cameras have also been installed at the entrance of the weighbridge to help track offenders.

The images captured are relayed on realtime to KeNHA offices and the Kenya Police. “We are not giving lip-service to the fight against graft. Images of trucks that fail to stop are now available on real time basis,” Mr Ranji said. At the same time, trucks transporting sand from Machakos and Makueni counties have been identified as the most notorious abusers of stipulated axleload in the country. It is argued that most of these lorries carry excess loads, leading to arrest and prosecution of the drivers.

Mr Ohawa said in an interview that the firm has put in place strigent measures to ensure that only lorries that comply with the laws of the land are allowed back to the road after inspection.

He said the firm was in the process of fencing the entire section bordering the highway to shield the station from external interferance by brokers who are perpetuting graft at the weigh station.

Speedy clearance

“We are aware that some trucks are using many panya routes to avoid being weighed. Their days are numbered,” he said.

He said Installation of a multi-deck weighbridge, which will reduce the time spent on weighing by upto 80 per cent, is already in progress.

“We are putting an ultra modern weighing machine at Mlolongo that will completely eradicate congestion and ensure a smooth flow of traffic at the facility,” he said.

Avery’s docket at Mlolongo involves diversion of trucks from Mombasa to Nairobi and those from Nairobi to Mombasa to the weighbridge station for weighing.

Apart from this, the firm will also be tasked with prosecution of any overloaded vehicles. this, it says, will ensure that trucks adhere to laid down traffic rules .

“We are putting an ultra modern weighing machine at Mlolongo that will completely eradicate congestion and ensure a smooth flow of traffic at the facility.”

Menawhile, the Treasury will allocate Sh6.9 billion to four State corporations to build the first phase of Kenya’s second transport corridor linking world heritage site Lamu to Ethiopia and South Sudan.
The money, to be disbursed in the current financial year, is expected to signal the private sector to support the Sh3 trillion projects.
Among the facilities planned are an international port in the Indian Ocean town, an airport, an international highway, a railway to run parallel to the highway, an oil pipeline and resort cities along the corridor.

“Talks are going on to decide how much each corporation will get for initial projects but the tendering process must be completed in time for the ground breaking in November,” Peter Oremo, a senior engineer at the Kenya Ports Authority, said at the regional conference held in Nairobi last week.

Other parastatals involved in the projects are the Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Railway. The projects are expected to run concurrently.

When it revised the national budget last month, the Treasury allocated an extra Sh980 million to the Ministry of Transport, raising its total spending to Sh14.2 billion to cater for the Lamu port construction.