The Rhode Island Department of Transportation this week will begin the construction of the first two trucks-only toll gantries in the state, which are expected to begin tolling approximately a month after they are installed.
Specific rates for the first two toll locations, in Exeter and Richmond, have not yet been set, but a November report from the Federal Highway Administration assumes a “conservative range” of $3.50 to $4.50 per toll location. Tolls will be limited to once per toll facility per day in each direction, with a $20 total to travel I-95 across the state. Tolls cannot exceed $40 per day.
As part of the RhodeWorks plan signed into law in 2016, a total of 14 toll locations will be installed throughout the state.
In order to complete the installation of the first two locations, RIDOT will implementing single-lane closures on I-95 throughout the week this week. These lane closures are scheduled for I-95 North and South from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day this week. The impacted locations are approximately 1 mile north of exit 2, and approximately 3 miles south of exit 5.
On Wednesday night, Feb. 14, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday morning, RIDOT will close a single lane on I-95 South for installation of the overhead tolling components. The following night, crews will close lane lane for I-95 North to do the same work.
RIDOT says after the gantries are installed, its tolling contractor will begin an approximate one-month test of the system before the tolls go live to truckers.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.
The new “health-based requirements” will need to be met before a driver is allowed to register his or her truck through the Department of Motor Vehicles, CARB says. For older vehicles, CARB says they must be either replaced with a 2011 or newer vehicle or repowered with a 2010 or newer engine.