Truck tolls in Rhode Island generated $7.26 million in revenue during the program’s first year, according to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.
That figure is slightly higher than the department’s initial $7 million estimate.
” Read Also : Rhode Island creates breeding wetlands for endangered toads “
“We had been conservative on our estimates of what we expected for diversions. Since less diversion is actually happening, it resulted in a slight increase in revenue,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti of the money collected from the two gantries on Interstate 95 in southern Rhode Island.
Alviti said few trucks are taking alternate routes to avoid the tolls.
Construction on the third gantry will begin Wednesday morning. The gantry will be located at the Woonasquatucket River Bridge on Route 6 in Providence. It’s expected to go into operation on Aug. 13.
From there, RIDOT plans to add a new gantry about every month.
RIDOT was initially planning on putting two gantries on Route 6, but Alviti said they’re changing course and will only add one. The other would have been located on the Route 6/10 connector.
The state said eliminating that second gantry will save them $2.5 million in construction costs and will result in the same revenue since the new gantry on Route 6 will be a $5 toll.
The state expects truck tolls will bring in $25 million in revenue over the next fiscal year, money that’s being spent to repair bridges across the state.
“In every one of the gantries that we put up, we have bridges that we’re tolling that are associated with those gantry locations,” Alviti said.
” Read Also : Radical Abortion Bill Fails in Rhode Island ”
As RIDOT moves ahead with more truck tolls, the trucking industry continues to fight back in court. Truckers have said the tolls imposed only on them are unconstitutional.
The U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments later this year, but Alviti said he’s not worried.
“We did our due diligence prior to proceeding with the project,” Alviti said.