RIDOT: RhodeWorks tolling program will net $42.3 million annually

Rhode WorkslogoThe Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) reports annual net revenue from its RhodeWorks tolling program will reach $42.3 million.

The tolling program places bridge tolls on heavy commercial trucks. The tolls provide part of the funding to bridge repairs under the RhodeWorks program, which provides for the repair of more than 150 structurally deficient bridges as well as an additional 500 bridges to prevent them from reaching that condition. Officials estimate this plan will bring 90 percent of the state’s bridges into “structural sufficiency” by 2024 and will create 6,000 new construction jobs.

RhodeWorks was signed into law in February 2016.

“We have a level three traffic study conducted by outside experts that shows we will gross conservatively $45 million from our tolling program,” says RIDOT Director Peter Alviti. “We also have established the actual operation and maintenance costs that are in the contract with the company that will operate and maintain the tolling system.”

RIDOT estimates its cost to operate and maintain the system is $2.5 million each year, and will pay the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge a $1.3 million yearly administrative fee. It then figures it will receive penalty and fine revenue of $1.1 million, for a net expense of $2.7 million, giving the agency the $42.3 million in net revenue.

That figure is about 10 percent of the agency’s total revenue. RIDOT says the net revenue will be used only to repair the states bridges and will ”provide a reliable source of funds to keep our bridges in good repair in the future.”