Assessment of Operations of Weighbridges in Kenya: a Case of Gilgil Weighbridge Station
Overloading by trucks has been one of the major causes of rapid deterioration of the Kenyan road network especially the Northern Corridor Road which has the largest percentage of truck traffic in Kenya. Gilgil Weighbridge station is one of the stations established along the northern corridor to control overloading. The stations have been characterized by a lot of delays in the past and this greatly compromises cargo movement along the corridor to neighbouring landlocked countries especially Uganda and Rwanda. This research assesses the operations of Gilgil weighbridge station with a view to making it more efficient and facilitating cargo movement. This study used the queuing model to analyze the efficiency of the station in terms of various queuing parameters such as flow rate, arrival rate, service rate, waiting and service times and system utilization. In addition, the study assessed the station layout in terms of location and design of existing facilities and plans for future improvements in order to give a perspective on their adequacy and relationship with station efficiency. Various traffic surveys such as truck traffic counts in queues, parking surveys at the holding bay, axle load surveys have been conducted to aid in the analysis. The study established that Gilgil weighbridge station had some inadequacies in planning and design that have greatly compromised the operations and efficiency of the station through long queues and service times leading to congestion. The findings of this study were compared with the planning, design and operations guidelines for a typical weighbridge station of its traffic level. In conclusion, a number of recommendations have been proposed in order to optimize the efficiency of the weighbridge station in terms of axle load control and facilitating cargo movement. They include redesign of the weighbridge layout, proper maintenance framework and implementation of axle load control information monitoring system.
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