Rhode Works

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s new truck toll gantries have barely been live a full day, and already  the Rhode Island Trucking Association says it expects to be part of litigation against new tolls.

John Bender / RIPR

The federal government is offering official approval for Rhode Island’s plan to toll commercial trucks on state bridges. The toll has generated opposition from the trucking industry and some businesses concerned about how the new tolls might impact the economy.

State Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti says the go-ahead from the federal government is the final step needed to move forward with the project.  The tolls will be installed in 13 locations, and 34 bridges so far are slated for repairs from the toll revenue.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Critics are voicing disappointment following Gov. Gina Raimondo’s announcement that repairs to the 6/10 connector will be placed on a fast-track, leaving little hope that the corridor will get a major redesign.

Transportation advocates had hoped to see roadway transformed into a boulevard.

Advocates for the idea say a boulevard would offer better access to existing streets in Providence, and make room for pedestrians and cyclists. But the state announced this week the 6/10 connector is in such poor condition, there won’t be time for a major redesign.

Marc Nozell/Flickr

Vice President Joe Biden plans to visit Rhode Island Friday to highlight the state’s plan to fix bridges rated among the worst in the nation. Biden will speak at a DOT maintenance facility in East Providence.

Governor Gina Raimondo said she invited Vice President Biden to come to Rhode Island after meeting him at a National Governors Association meeting earlier this year.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

  The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is working to be more transparent, and shrug off a public perception that it’s mired in inefficiency. The agency released its quarterly report Monday.

Director Peter Alviti pointed to efforts including new signage at DOT projects, which signal if they’re running on time and on budget. If all’s well, the sign will be green. If not, it will be yellow or red, depending on the state of the project.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Lawmakers in the Senate and House Finance committees are expected to take up a controversial bill on truck tolls on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively Legislative leaders have proposed a compromise to raise money for road and bridge repairs.

The new bill would cap truck tolls at $20 for a rig crossing the state. It would also cut the number of toll gantries from 17 to 14. And reduce the amount of money the state borrows for road and bridge repairs.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A revised truck toll bill is expected to be introduced in the General Assembly Thursday.

House Majority Leader John DeSimone is expected to introduce the bill in the House, while Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio will sponsor the bill in the Senate.

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello has signaled his support for hundreds of million dollars fewer borrowing than contained in the original proposal unveiled last year by Governor Gina Raimondo.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The Governor's office has has released the preliminary locations of 14 toll gantries. The gantries are part of Governor Raimondo's $1.1 billion infrastructure repair plan, known as Rhode Works, introduced last spring.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Governor Gina Raimondo continue to discuss the governor’s truck-toll proposal. Mattiello is already supporting some parts of the governor’s infrastructure plan.