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'Rhode Works' Legislation to Help Fund Repairs of State's Bridges

International bridge, tunnel and turnpike association applaud Governor’s bold solution.

Tue February 16, 2016 - Northeast Edition
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The International bridge, tunnel and turnpike association applauds Governor Gina Raimondo's bold solution.
The International bridge, tunnel and turnpike association applauds Governor Gina Raimondo's bold solution.

A new initiative to rebuild Rhode Island's crumbling roads and bridges by investing significant additional funding in transportation infrastructure has drawn raves from industry experts.

Patrick D. Jones, Executive Director and CEO, International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, said, “I applaud Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and state legislators for passing Rhode Works to raise revenue for much-needed bridge repairs and maintenance across the state of Rhode Island. This is a bold move to maintain major infrastructure, keep residents of Rhode Island safe, and grow the economy. Other states, including nearby Connecticut, are watching.”

"While the gas tax has been a solid tool to fund roads and bridges in the past, it isn't enough today,” said Jones. “Congress has not raised the federal gas tax since 1993 and it has lost much of its purchasing power since then. In response to the need for additional dedicated funding, Rhode Island and many other states are looking at alternatives such as tolling. Tolling is one of the most powerful and effective tools in the tool box to fund and finance vital transportation infrastructure. Across 35 states, tolling generates more than $14 billion annually in revenues to support nearly 6,000 miles of toll roads. Therefore, we commend the governor and state legislature for turning to this important tool. And with all-electronic tolling, there is no stopping and waiting. Trucks pay their toll while moving at highway speed beneath an overhead gantry.”

“With the passage of Rhode Works, the smallest state in the nation has taken the most significant action to address their infrastructure needs with both a reasonable plan and a steady revenue stream to repair and maintain Rhode Island's deteriorating bridges. Gov. Raimondo's Rhode Works program places a toll on big-rigs traveling up and down the East coast. Each truck toll will be as little as $3 and the maximum for a one-way route from Connecticut to Massachusetts along Interstate 95 will be $20,” said Jones.

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