The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced it has signed a contract with Kapsch Traffic Com IVHS Inc. to design and build the all-electronic tolling facilities and associated infrastructure for Rhode Island's truck-only tolling program. The company also will operate and maintain all the tolling facilities.
The truck-only tolling program will help fund the reconstruction of deficient bridges throughout Rhode Island. It is a vital component of the 10-year RhodeWorks program, a sweeping infrastructure improvement program designed to bring Rhode Island's roads and bridges into a state of good repair, create thousands of jobs and spur numerous economic development opportunities.
“With this contract, we take another step forward toward rebuilding our infrastructure as we develop the tolling systems that will provide the additional reliable and sustainable funding to fix our roads and bridges,” said Peter Alviti Jr., RIDOT director. “We look forward to breaking ground in the fall and getting the first tolling locations operational by the end of this year.”
Kapsch was selected from a field of six firms representing all the top-tier, all-electronic tolling companies in the industry. The companies competed in a request for proposals (RFP) process that began in December.
The contract with Kapsch encompasses a two-year construction and installation phase and an initial operations and maintenance term of 10 years with an option for two five-year extensions. The overall bid cost for the total services is $68.9 million.
The costs include the systems development, including communications infrastructure, computer hardware and software ($11.2 million); roadside infrastructure costs including the construction of the tolling gantries ($30.6 million); and operations and maintenance over the 10-year period ($27.1 million). RIDOT's estimate for these services in February 2016, at the time of the passage of the RhodeWorks legislation, was $82 million. The final contract is $13 million under that estimate.
Construction of the tolling facilities will be ongoing through the end of 2018, with tolling locations coming online as they are built. The first two tolling locations will be built along I-95 in southern Rhode Island, and are expected to be operational and collecting revenue by the end of 2017.
Kapsch is an international firm headquartered in Vienna, Austria, with its United States offices based in McLean, Va. The company's core business comprises the development, installation and operation of electronic toll collection and traffic management systems.
Revenue from the tolling facilities represents less than 10 percent of the annual revenue to support RhodeWorks, but that additional investment will allow for a surge of bridge repair work. Over the 10-year period, RIDOT will repair 150 structural deficient bridges and keep another 500 from becoming deficient. This approach avoids more costly and time consuming rehabilitation or total replacement projects which could cost three to four times as much money — a strategy that will save Rhode Island $950 million over 10 years.
The tolling locations throughout Rhode Island will feature all-electronic tolling, and only large commercial vehicles, Class 8 and higher, will be charged a toll. There will be no toll booths and no stopping to pay tolls.