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ODOT building new Port of Entry in Colbert

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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COLBERT, Okla. (KXII) - The truck weigh station near Colbert has been closed but for good reason. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is building a new station with more efficient technology. How this new Port of Entry will be more efficient for drivers’ time and taxpayers’ money.

ODOT is hard at work on U.S. Highway 69/75 building a new, state-of-the-art Port of Entry, part of an initiative that began back in 2008.

“We screen about 6 million vehicles a year through these Ports of Entry,” said Mark Willingham, director of transportation with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

A collaborative effort between Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Corporation Commission, and Department of Public Safety. This will be the 5th of 8 new Ports of Entry near state lines across Oklahoma highways.

A map of the proposed new Ports of Entry across Oklahoma highways.
A map of the proposed new Ports of Entry across Oklahoma highways.(KXII)

“It was badly needed. Our weigh stations were in terrible shape and needed to be revamped and we just needed to invest some dollars into it and get new stations in place,” said Mills Leslie, spokesperson for ODOT.

Leslie said the current weigh stations near mile marker 3 of U.S. Highway 69/75 are nearly 60-years-old.

“This one in particular is $18 million on its own, not to mention all the up to date and critical technology that’s gonna be installed,” said Leslie.

The new Port of Entry will include a northbound physical facility with new technology, and the same technology used virtually on the southbound side.

One of the new Ports of Entry in Oklahoma.
One of the new Ports of Entry in Oklahoma.(KXII)

“It includes electronic screening. The cameras actually capture the UST numbers on the side of the trucks. The cameras capture the license plate on the front of the trucks. And then we have invisible lasers that actually measure the size of the vehicle as it’s driving down the highway,” said Willingham.

Willingham said this will not only save truck drivers time and money, but it can also save taxpayers from paying for highway damages.

“A properly loaded 5 axel truck will do about as much pavement damage as 9,000 passenger cars, and if it’s overweight that damage is increased exponentially,” said Willingham.

They expect to complete construction by next June, and hope to be operating by late fall, early winter 2022.

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