Artist’s illustration of planned new vehicle inspection station in Thornhill. (Province of B.C. illustration)

Artist’s illustration of planned new vehicle inspection station in Thornhill. (Province of B.C. illustration)

First half of Hwy 16 vehicle monitoring project wrapping up

Sensor pad, inspection station to cost $34.2 million

Work has been winding up this month on the first half of a multi-million dollar project to improve government monitoring and inspection of commercial traffic moving along Hwy 16.

That first half has been the work to excavate a portion of Hwy 16 in Thornhill for an eastbound sensor pad which will electronically collect and transmit information as larger commercial vehicles drive over it.

Called Weigh-In-Motion, the idea is to keep commercial traffic moving by electronically collecting height, weight and safety credentials when a vehicle passes over the sensor pad at highway speeds.

“By reducing the number of vehicles that must report to inspection stations, inspectors have time to identify and focus on higher-risk carriers to improve safety and efficiency throughout the province. The Weigh-In-Motion sensor pad will also screen commercial vehicles to identify tire problems that affect safety, so it can be dealt with right away,” a provincial transportation ministry press release indicated.

During construction this fall, traffic was routed down a frontage road.

The Weigh-In-Motion sensor pad contract was awarded to Robin Constructors Corp. at approximately $910,000. A joint venture between the Kitsumkalum First Nation and JJM Construction of the Lower Mainland, Robin Constructors is one of many joint ventures involving First Nations in the northwest. Its name comes from the traditional name for the Kitsumkalum which is people of the robin.

Tendering of the second part of the project, the construction of a vehicle inspection station, is expected to take place early next year. It is being financed with $15 million from the federal government and $19.2 million from the provincial government for a combined $34.2 million.

The inspection station will have a footprint of approximately 45,000 square metres or 484,376 square feet with an inspection building of almost 400 square metres or 4,300 square feet.

It’ll be located in the area of Novotny Street and Kirkaldy Street, offline from the highway on the Thornhill Frontage Road.

The facility and embedded sensor replace a weigh station that had to be moved when the province replaced the Hwy16/Hwy37 four-way stop with a roundabout.

There’ll be room for five short term truck stalls and 10 overnight stalls with services such as refrigeration unit plug-ins, Wi-Fi and CCTV.