Bridge restrictions net millions for state

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – State officials say they've stopped more than 20-thousand vehicles and collected millions of dollars in fines for restriction violations on the Pawtucket River and Sakonnet River bridges.

Rust on both bridges forced transportation officials to ban truck traffic. On the Pawtucket River Bridge, the state first put a weight limit into place in November of 2007.

But the Rhode Island State Police say they soon realized it was too cumbersome to weigh every truck rolling across I-95. So in August of 2008 it implemented a two-axel limit.

State Police say they stopped 21,938 vehicles for violations on the Pawtucket River Bridge in the last three years. In the courts, where the fines are collected, a little more than 2.5 million dollars has been paid for violations on both the Pawtucket and Sakonnet River bridges.

Construction is underway on both bridges. They are both scheduled to re-open in the spring of 2012.

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