* Rhode Island's Fact Sheet: RhodeWorks
(The vehicles shaded in blue in the above image show the vehicles that would be exempt from tolling under the current RhodeWorks proposal)
-- RhodeWorks is the road-improvement funding plan proposed by Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, which calls for the repair of the state’s deteriorating bridges. The proposal would fund the additional projects in two ways:
° Borrowing $300 million against future federal highway funding and refinancing old borrowing to yield an additional $120 million;
° Imposing a new toll on large commercial trucks, expected to bring in $45 million a year when it’s up and running.
The Senate Fiscal Office estimates the two initiatives would generate a net total of $543 million in new revenue for the R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT) between 2016 and 2020... The Rhode Island Department of Transportation said Rhode Island is one of the only states in the northeast that does not charge user fees to large commercial trucks... However, the toll proposal set off a firestorm of criticism from the trucking industry, as well as some local businesses and limited-government advocates...
(Photo: Scott Del Sole / WPRI 12 - Protesters rallied against a plan to use tolls to pay for bridge repairs in Rhode Island)
... Representatives of the American Trucking Association and its Rhode Island counterpart say if the toll bill passes as expected, lawsuits will likely be filed challenging its constitutionality...
AND... Where Are the Gantries?:
Instead of toll plazas, the state would assess the truck toll at 14 gantry locations throughout the state. The gantries are large metal structures that would span the highway. Equipment attached to the gantry would scan vehicles as they pass, and bills would be sent the appropriate parties... The concern over the proposal is that out-of-state truckers would bypass Rhode Island altogether, leaving the burden completely on local trucking companies. A survey by a group representing truck drivers shows more than 75 percent of truckers will avoid operating in Rhode Island if Gov. Gina Raimondo’s toll proposal is adopted...
Labels: truckers' complaint, trucking industry news USA