The U.S. DOT has given the go-ahead to begin construction on 10 more truck-only toll gantries in Rhode Island. The new locations will join two others that are online and have collected $3.7 million in tolls from truckers in about 6 months.
U.S. DOT’s approval of the new toll locations comes despite a lawsuit filed against the state over the current truck-only tolls. ATA filed the lawsuit, alleging that the tolls are an unconstitutional bar on interstate commerce.
New gantries will be installed along I-95, I-195, I-295, U.S. Route 6 and State Route 146. According to RIDOT, the gantries will be built one at a time. All 10 new gantries are expected to be operational by May of 2020.
Rhode Island will be building a total of 14 truck-only tolling locations as part of Governor Gina Raimondo’s Rhodeworks plan. When the program was proposed, the goal was to raise $1 billion from truck tolls over a 10-year period. The first two tolling locations however have raised significantly more than expected.
Each booth will charge truckers between $3.00 and $3.50. A trucker driving across the whole state will pay a total of $20, with a maximum toll of $40 per day.
Despite the legal challenges, other states are currently considering implementing truck-only tolls as a way to plug funding gaps. Connecticut is looking at implementing new tolls to the tune of $100-$250 million per year. Before the state takes any action though, they are reportedly waiting to see how the legal battle in Rhode Island goes.