Truckers earn win – for now – in Rhode Island tolling battle

| August 22, 2017

Rhode Island DOT has proposed to ban trucks from certain secondary roads that could be used to avoid future trucks-only tolls. Rhode Island’s State Traffic Commission voted down the proposal for now, requesting more information from RIDOT.

A recent proposal from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to ban through trucks from 14 secondary highways in the state is on hold after a transportation committee in the state denied the request.

Rhode Island’s State Traffic Commission voted down the proposal Thursday, but agreed to reconsider it in 45 days after requesting more information from RIDOT. According to a report from the Providence Journal, the commission asked for more information on how the restrictions would be enforced, and whether they need legislative approval.

The agency’s proposal would bar tractor-trailers from certain state roads, which could be used by truckers an alternate route to avoid the state’s new toll gantries. The proposal could not ban trucks using the roads to reach the National Network, or to access local areas, food, rest, fuel or repairs, per federal regulations.

Chris Maxwell, president of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, told local news station WPRI the proposal “is the next phase in the war against the trucking industry.”

First of Rhode Island’s trucks-only tolls coming later this year

A contractor for the state will begin building and installing the toll gantries on the northbound and southbound sides of I-95 near Hopkinton and Richmond, ...

The roads included in the proposed restriction include:

  • Route 3 from I-95 Exit 1 on/off ramps in Hopkinton to Route 2 on the Warwick/West Warwick Line
  • Route 102 from Route 4 in North Kingstown to Route 146A in North Smithfield
  • U.S. Route 1 from Route 4 in North Kingstown to I-95 in Providence
  • Route 1A from US Route 1 (Elmwood Ave) in Warwick to Eddy Street in Providence
  • Route 1A from I-195 West on-ramp in East Providence to the Massachusetts State Line
  • Route 2 from Route 102 in North Kingstown to I-295 in Warwick
  • Route 5 from Route 117 in Warwick (Apponaug) to Route 104 (Farnum Pike) in North Smithfield
  • Route 116 from Route 117 in Coventry to US Route 44 in Smithfield
  • Route 104 from US Route 44 in North Providence to Route 146 on/off ramps in North Smithfield
  • Route 146A from Route 146/Route 146A split in North Smithfield to Route 102 (Victory Hwy) in North Smithfield
  • Route 114 from Dexter Street in Cumberland to I-295 on/off ramps in Cumberland
  • Route 122 from I-95 in Pawtucket to I-295 in Cumberland
  • Route 116 from Route 122 in Cumberland to Route 114 in Cumberland
  • Route 138 from Route 3 in Richmond to US Route 1 in South Kingstown

The first of Rhode Island’s trucks-only tolls are set to be operational by the end of the year, as previously reported by Overdrive. The tolls are part of Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo’s RhodeWorks plan signed into law last year. A total of 14 will be installed on major interstates and highways in the state with the revenue generated from the tolls going to infrastructure repairs.

Class 8 truckers will pay a maximum of $20 to travel one-way through the state on I-95. Each electronic toll gantry a trucker passes under would cost about $3. The maximum daily charge would be $40.

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