Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s controversial Truck-Only Toll plan is barreling forward seemingly without any regard for the roar of voices trying to make their dissatisfaction heard. Instead, the RIDOT has released a map of where the proposed tolling would take place.
The tolls are supposed to pay for Rhode Island’s massively expensive 10 year transportation construction project which will cost an estimated $100 million per year. An earlier version of the toll plan was proposed and then quickly withdrawn when the public outcry was too great, but Gov. Raimondo has an amended plan in the works that will be ready “within a week or two” according to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.
While it does intend to repair the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges, the original proposal also plans to set aside money for “providing increased bus and rail service as well as funding for bike lanes and accessible sidewalks.”
When asked why a truck-only toll was being considered, Mattiello was surprisingly blunt: it would be paid for largely by out of state trucking companies instead of local residents.
“When you look at that and you consider that more than half of the tolling revenue is going to come from out-of-state truckers, it seems to me that we are going to get a lot of economic benefit and most of it will be paid by out of state trucking companies, rather than the entire burden being borne by Rhode island residents,” Mattiello said according to the Providence Journal. “In light of that analysis, I think it is something that we strongly have to consider moving forward on.”
The proposed toll locations are as follows:
- Route 95 over Mechanic Street in Hopkinton and Richmond
- Route 95 over Teft Hill Trail and Route 3 in Exter
- Route 95 over Toll Gate Road and Centerville Road in Warwick
- Route 95 over Oxford Street in Providence
- Route 95 over Route 6 and Amtrak in Providence
- Route 95 over East Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Pawtucket
- Route 295 over Water Supply Viaduct and Plainfield Pike in Cranston
- Route 295 over Hartford Pike (Route 6a). an abandoned ramp bridge and Route 6 North in Johnston
- Route 295 over Scott Road and Leigh Road in Cumberland
- Route 195 over the Seekonk in Providence and East Providence
- Route 146 over George Washington Highway in Lincoln
- Route 146 over Farnum Pike in North Smithfield
- Route 6 over the Woonasquatucket River in Providence
- Route 6 over the Route 10 Interchange in Providence
If you’re thinking that you’ll just be able to avoid the tolls by taking local roads however, you’re mistaken. According to Gov. Raimondo, the State Police will be taking action to “prevent large commercial trucks from exiting the highways to avoid user fees.”
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