After two delays, the first two toll gantries in Rhode Island are officially collecting tolls on truck drivers along Interstate 95. However, legal challenges have been pledged.
At 12:01 p.m. on Monday, June 11, RIDOT brought the first two truck-only toll gantries online. Gantries are between Hopkinton and Exeter.
One toll gantry is approximately 1 mile north of Exit 2 (Hopkinton/Hope Valley) for the Wood River Valley Bridge on the Richmond/Hopkinton line.
The other toll gantry is approximately 3 miles south of Exit 5 (Route 102) for the Tefft Hill Trail Bridge and Baker Pines Bridge near the Exeter/Richmond line.
Toll prices vary slightly between the two gantries. The toll for the Wood River Valley Bridge will cost truckers $3.25. The toll for the Tefft Hill Trail Bridge will cost $3.50.
Truckers with E-ZPass transponders will be charged only once per day each direction. Truckers without transponders will be tracked with video detection systems and will receive an invoice.
According to RIDOT spokesman Charles St. Martin, the tolling systems are working well.
“RIDOT is implementing tractor-trailer only tolling because trucks cause the greatest amount of damage to our roads and bridges and yet pay a disproportionately small share for the upkeep and repair of those roads,” St. Martin said. “Other vehicle owners are shouldering these costs.”
Not everyone agrees with that statement.
In a news release issued the day the tolls went live, ATA and Rhode Island Trucking Association pledged to continue fighting the truck-only tolls.
Chris Maxwell, Rhode Island Trucking Association’s president and CEO, told Land Line Now’s Mary McKenna that a legal challenge to the truck-only tolls is “imminent.”
“(The Rhode Island Trucking Association) and its members have courageously and successfully delayed the implementation of truck-only tolls for over three years,” Maxwell said in a statement. “We look forward to a final resolution of this matter in the courts and are hopeful that our day of reckoning is around the bend”
Another 12 toll gantries are scheduled to go live within the next 18 months along I-95, I-195, I-295, U.S. Route 6, state Route 146 and state Route 1. Although the first two gantries are near the southern end of the state, the other 12 gantries will be concentrated on the northeastern portion.
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