House Republicans say the state can fix aging bridges without new tolls on trucks. The GOP has called for $60 million a year to be set aside from the state budget for up to 12 years.

West Warwick Representative Patricia Morgan says using money from the budget would be cheaper than Governor Gina Raimondo’s plan to toll trucks. Morgan said that’s because the state would not need to build toll-collecting devices known as gantries, or pay millions in interest for borrowing money to make improvements.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Raimondo administration is reducing the number of trucks it wants to toll as part of a new program to pay for infrastructure improvements. However the State Trucking Association remains opposed to the governor’s initiative.

The governor’s office is exempting trucks in class sizes 6 and 7 from its plan to institute electronic tolls on highways around the state. The cost of the tolls has not yet been publicly identified.

Pell Unveils State Infrastructure Plan

May 23, 2014

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell says the infrastructure in Rhode Island is failing, and he wants to spend at least $200 million to fix it.

Pell released his transportation and infrastructure plan Thursday using the Providence train station as his backdrop.  Pell says the station is a good example of a transportation hub in need of repairs.  If elected, Pell says he would include a bond referendum in 2016 and 2018 to create a $200 million program to improve bridges, roads and highways.

He says other projects could be paid for with federal funding.


Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo unveiled a plan Monday to improve the state’s roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.  Raimondo touts her proposal as a way to bolster Rhode Island’s lackluster economy.

Raimondo toured an outdated bridge on the East Providence-Seekonk line to dramatize her call for improving Rhode Island’s infrastructure. Raimondo says putting more money into overhauling roads, bridges and school buildings will improve the state while also sparking its economy.


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Shortage Of Road Salt Supplies Hits RI

Feb 18, 2014
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation says it’s running low on road salt for the highways. The news comes as another winter storm is expected to hit the state.

The department says it only has enough road salt for one more storm.  That’s because this winter has not only been harsher than others, but because it has swept across a broader swath of the country. Most states in the northeast get their salt from the same sources, and with wicked weather blanketing the region, the regular suppliers are getting tapped out.

The City of Central Falls plans to repair and pave 16 roads. Mayor James Diossa said the Pawtucket Water Supply Board is ripping up the roads to make repairs to water mains. Instead of just patching the roads back together, the city will completely repave them.

“Pawtucket Water Supply opens up the roads and they were willing to grid the roads and leave it to the point where we just have to cover it with asphalt,” said Diossa, “so that’s why it’s very, very cheap for 16 roads.”