Truck Toll Bill
On Wednesday, the Rhode Island House of Representatives approved Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed truck toll bill. On Thursday, the Senate also passed the bill after three hours of discussion.
The new law makes Rhode Island the only state with a toll system that only tolls 18-wheelers.
Under the new tolling system, commonly referred to as RhodeWorks, 18-wheelers will pay up to $20 to cross Rhode Island on Interstate 95. The plan will create 14 new tolls – each one expected to be about $3. The tolls are capped at a maximum rate of $40 per truck per day.
The tolls are expected to bring in around $45 million annually once they’ve been fully implemented, which should take at least a year.
The money will be used to finance a 10-year plan to repair deteriorating bridges in the state. Rhode Island reportedly has the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the country.
The plan faced strong opposition from the trucking industry. Representatives of the American Trucking Associates as well as the state trucking association said that lawsuits were expected.
The American Trucking Associations cautioned the governor a few months ago against counting on the toll money that is “premised on truck restrictions that are currently disallowed by federal and/or state law.”
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