High-Speed Rail

Kings County lays down the law on high-speed rail trucks

Many residents of Kings County residents oppose the High-Speed Rail project. This photo was taken in 2015.
Many residents of Kings County residents oppose the High-Speed Rail project. This photo was taken in 2015. The Fresno Bee

Kings County Supervisor Doug Verboon, a critic of California High-Speed Rail being routed through the rural county, called the California Highway Patrol last week to complain about too many trucks on the road from the rail construction project.

The trucks are tearing up county roads and some are unsafe due to lack of maintenance and inspection, he said.

The California Highway Patrol took the complaint seriously.

Wednesday, the CHP set up a temporary truck inspection station at highways 43 and 198, and patrolled Highway 43 from Fargo to Kansas avenues.

Officers issued more than two dozen citations, and several trucks were taken out of service.

California High-Speed Rail Authority information officer Annie Parker said the rail authority and the California Department of Transportation issued a news release Monday advising drivers to use caution on Highway 43 and to not pass heavy trucks.

The trucks are hauling fill-dirt, Parker said.

The CHP pulled over all trucks at the inspection station, not just the trucks from G&J Heavy Hall, the subcontractor, she said.

“G&J did not get cited for over loaded trucks, however there were some minor fix it tickets written,” Parker said.

The enforcement detail was designed to improve safety, said Hanford CHP spokesman Vince Roeber. “The more people are on top of their game, the safer the roadway is,” he said.

There were 80 trucks on the road the day of the enforcement that were working on the high-speed rail construction project, the CHP said. The previous week there were 150 trucks.

Officers inspected about 30 trucks. Eight were taken out of service for equipment problems. One trailer had a cracked leaf spring, and some were experiencing and brake issues.

Officers issued 21 citations. One was for speeding, another for running a red light, two for not wearing seat belts and three for using cell phones while driving. Five equipment violations tickets were also issued.

Additionally, two drivers lacked the correct licenses to drive their trucks and were told not to drive.

Verboon said the community supports the crackdown.

“There are more than the normal amount of trucks on the road,” he said. “Some of these trucks shouldn’t be on the road. We’re not trying to shut them down; we’re trying to keep them compliant.”

High-speed rail construction in the area will be on going for the next couple of months.

Lewis Griswold: 559-441-6104, @fb_LewGriswold