Rhode Island slams on brakes of toll scheme

Rhode Island lawmakers are postponing a proposal to fund repairs to the state’s infrastructure with a truck-only toll on about two dozen bridges.

Plan to charge trucks tolls put on hold

The legislature is expected to address Gov. Gina Raimondo’s RhodeWorks proposal later this summer or in the fall, said Christopher Maxwell, president of the Rhode Island Trucking Association. On May 27, the Democrat governor and legislature leaders introduced the plan and had expected to vote on it this week as part of the state budget.

Last week, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello indicated he needed more information about RhodeWorks and that it was not ready for inclusion in the state budget, Maxwell said.

When the proposal was announced, Class 6 trucks and higher would be charged under the 10-year plan, projected to generate an annual $100 million. On June 2, Raimondo announced Classes 6 and 7 trucks had been dropped from the proposal. RhodeWorks also had been amended so trucks would be tolled only once per location per day in each direction.

Lawmakers refer to the toll as a user fee, which would be used to fix more than 150 structurally deficient bridges and make repairs to another 500. Electronic tolling would be implemented on bridges on Interstates 95, 195, 295 and 146, and Routes 6 and 10.