HELP Inc. rounded out 2017 on a high note in Missouri, investing more than $300,000 in weigh-in-motion (WIM) technology on roads in the Show-Me State without disrupting motorists while seeing heavy truck traffic.
Between Nov. 11 and Dec. 27, the nonprofit organization performed three WIM-sensor repairs and 12 electrical totaling $302,000. There were zero work zone traffic accidents and no congestion.
“To date, and since 2001, HELP Inc.’s infrastructure investment to protect Missouri’s roads and bridges is nearly $22,000,000,” Karen Rasmussen, President and CEO of HELP Inc, writes. “This investment demonstrates our strong commitment to continue to provide efficient and safety-based bypass services in Missouri, the heartland of the trucking industry.”
In a situation unique to Missouri, HELP, Inc. owns the only WIM systems currently installed. HELP, Inc. also owns 24 other WIMs in 8 other states. In 2002, the Arizona-based organization offered to pay for the state’s sensors and WIM equipment, rather than the state being forced to make the investment themselves – a seemingly ideal situation at the time for a cash-strapped state. In fact, Missouri is the only state that does not own its own WIM sensors and related equipment, as it was all provided by HELP, Inc.
The WIM sensor repairs at Bloomsdale, Harrisonville and Steele accounted for the only lane closures needed for HELP to complete the work. Most of the electrical upgrades were completed within a day.
2017 was also a busy year in terms of truck traffic for the 19 WIM sites that HELP operates.
“During the hours that weigh stations were open, a total of 2,207,600 bypasses were logged by PrePass-qualified vehicles, allowing MSHP inspectors to focus their efforts on carriers more prone to safety violations, while also identifying overweight trucks, protecting pavement and promoting safety,” Rasmussen said. The number she cited for the year excludes statistics from December.
According to Rasmussen, those bypasses equated to carrier time savings of 183,967 hours and fuel savings of 883,042 gallons, totaling an estimated $19.1 million in reduced trucking costs.
Currently, HELP is the only company offering services for WIM. However, after some drama last year, Drivewyze will be installing their own sensors and equipment at 19 locations.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at email@example.com.