Bill would boost truck weight enforcement on NYC expressway
May 14, 2020
An effort underway at the New York statehouse is focused on ramping up truck weight enforcement along a stretch of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in New York City.
Sponsored by Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, D-Brooklyn, and Sen. Brian Kavanagh, D-Brooklyn Heights, the legislation would authorize the city of New York to enforce weight restrictions via mobile or stationary weigh-in motion systems for the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.
Expressway in ‘dire condition’
The focus of the legislation is a 1.5-mile stretch of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway from Sands Street to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights. The section of Interstate 278 is described as being in “dire condition,” according to reports of the New York City mayor’s office and the New York City Council.
The mayor’s group found that the expressway’s 66-year-old triple cantilever is “deteriorating rapidly, with sections possibly unsafe for vehicular and truck traffic in five years if mitigations are not made expeditiously.”
Overweight truck traffic is the leading factor attributed to the elevated roadway’s deterioration.
Advocates say there is “minimal enforcement” of truck weight restrictions. They cite the impracticality of taking a truck off the road and weighing it at a stationary scale along the congested and narrow portion of the expressway.
Tickets would be issued automatically for trucks described as substantially above the existing weight limits. Citations would be mailed for trucks traveling 10% above the gross vehicle weight and/or 20% above the axle weight.
Violators would get off with a warning for the first 90 days of the program.
Supporters say the enforcement program, coupled with an emergency repair initiative by the New York City Department of Transportation, would extend the life of the existing Brooklyn Queens Expressway structure until a long-term plan for the corridor can be implemented.