FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGREES RHODE ISLAND’S TRUCK-ONLY TOLLING PROGRAM MEETS FEDERAL LAW

RI – The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it has
executed 13 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA), a central piece of RhodeWorks implementation. These MOUs make clear that
the federal government agrees with Rhode Island’s program to implement bridge tolls
on large commercial vehicles or «tractor trailers» at these locations across the
state.
«For too long, our state kicked the can down the road on infrastructure, allowing
our roads and bridges to crumble and fall into total disrepair. With RhodeWorks,
leaders came together to put an end to the politics of procrastination and take
action to keep people safe,» said Governor Gina Raimondo. «With the partnership
and approval of the federal government, we are going to keep moving forward as
quickly as we can to deliver the infrastructure Rhode Islanders deserve.»
The MOUs state that the federal government «hereby agrees the Toll Project meets
the toll eligibility requirements of 23 U.S.C. 129 (a) (1),» the applicable federal
law. Bridges being tolled include those both on Interstate highways and state roads.
«The inadequacy of infrastructure funding is a problem that has plagued Rhode Island
for decades,» said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. «I am delighted that the federal
government has agreed to partner with us and participate in this program to help
fund the reconstruction of our crumbling bridges.»
The tolling was authorized by the General Assembly by the passage of the Rhode Island
Bridge Replacement, Reconstruction and Maintenance Fund Act, better known as
RhodeWorks,
which was signed into law on February 11, 2016. Through RhodeWorks, RIDOT is authorized
to toll large commercial trucks in order to fund, in part, the replacement or
reconstruction
of the bridges throughout the state. RhodeWorks assesses tolls on tractor trailers
to account for the disproportionately large amount of damage they cause relative
to cars and other trucks. A GAO report to Congress indicated that one fully loaded
tractor trailer can do the equivalent damage of 9,600 cars.
A 14th MOU for the Providence Viaduct will be executed once the existing environmental
mitigation requirements for the project are satisfied. Those requirements were agreed
upon as part of the original construction of the viaduct project.
With the federal government execution of the MOUs, RIDOT will proceed to solicit
proposals from qualified firms to design, build, operate and maintain the tolling
system.
RIDOT expects to issue a request for proposals (RFP) by late November. Firms from
around the world have expressed interest in submitting proposals. RIDOT’s 10-year
plan anticipates revenues from truck tolls beginning in 2018.
According to FHWA statistics, Rhode Island has the highest percentage of structurally
deficient bridge deck area of any other state in the nation. The truck tolls at
these 13 locations will be used to reconstruct or replace 34 bridges throughout
the state, including Interstate bridges. The toll revenues will be used to help
pay a portion of the replacement or reconstruction costs for the bridges being tolled.
The 34 Project Bridges are included in 13 tolling locations as cited in the MOUs.
The bridges are:

1. Wood River Valley in Hopkinton/Richmond

18. U.S. 6 North in Johnston

2. Tefft Hill Trail Northbound in Exeter

19. U.S. 6 South in Johnston

3. Tefft Hill Trail Southbound in Exeter

20. Greenville Avenue Northbound in Johnston

4. Baker Pines in Richmond

21. Greenville Avenue Southbound in Johnston

5. Toll Gate Road in Warwick

22. Hartford Pike Northbound in Johnston

6. Centerville Road in Warwick

23. Hartford Pike Southbound in Johnston

7. Oxford Street in Providence

24. Scott Road Northbound in Cumberland

8. East Street Northbound in Pawtucket

25. Scott Road Southbound in Cumberland

9. East Street Southbound in Pawtucket

26. Leigh Road Northbound in Cumberland

10. Roosevelt Avenue Northbound in Pawtucket

27. Leigh Road Southbound in Cumberland

11. Roosevelt Avenue Southbound in Pawtucket

28. Washington Bridge North in Providence/East Providence

12. Aqueduct Northbound in Cranston

29. Washington Bridge South in Providence/East Providence

13. Aqueduct Southbound in Cranston

30. Louisquisset Pike in Lincoln

14. Plainfield Pike Northbound in Cranston

31. Farnum Pike Northbound in North Smithfield

15. Plainfield Pike Southbound in Cranston

32. Farnum Pike Southbound in North Smithfield

16. I-295 N Bridge over ramp in Johnston

33. Woonasquatucket River in Providence

17. I-295 S Bridge over ramp in Johnston

34. Huntington Avenue Viaduct in Providence