The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it is scheduled to implement an all-electronic tolling system for tractor-trailer-only tolling at two locations along I-95 in southern Rhode Island starting on June 11, 2018. The remaining tolling locations will come on line over the next 18 months.

Revenue will be collected from tractor-trailers only. “Studies show those vehicles cause the greatest amount of damage to roadways,” a press release from RIDOT stated on Tuesday.” Other vehicles, including passenger cars, will not be tolled. The legislation authorizing the tolling program expressly prohibits tolling cars”.

The tolls will be collected at two locations between Hopkinton and Exeter, and revenue generated will provide a reliable, dedicated source of revenue to fund the reconstruction of the bridges at those two sites. Toll Location 1 is approximately 1 mile north of Exit 2 (Hopkinton/Hope Valley) for the Wood River Valley Bridge on the Richmond/Hopkinton line. Toll Location 2 is approximately 3 miles south of Exit 5 (Route 102) for the Tefft Hill Trail Bridge and Baker Pines Bridge near the Exeter/Richmond line.

The toll for Location 1 will be $3.25. The toll for Location 2 will be $3.50. For tractor-trailers equipped with transponders such as E-ZPass, tolls will be limited to once per day, per direction. For tractor-trailers without a transponder, video detection systems will be used to generate an invoice for the registered owner of the vehicle. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will collect the tolls and generate the invoices where necessary.

According to the RIDOT release, the installation of the first two gantries followed approval of an Environmental Assessment by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). FHWA in late December notified RIDOT that the implementation of the tolling gantries would not have a significant impact on the human environment and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Environmental Assessment.

Each toll location functions independently and is associated with the reconstruction or replacement of specific bridges in accordance with the Rhode Island Bridge Replacement, Reconstruction, and Maintenance Fund state law known as RhodeWorks and consistent with requirements set forth in 23 U.S.C. 129.

The toll systems at Toll Locations 1 and 2 will be used to collect toll revenues from tractor or truck tractors, pulling a trailer or trailers as defined in 23 U.S.C. 658.5, and as defined in the Rhode Island Bridge Replacement, Reconstruction and Maintenance Fund Act, also known as the RhodeWorks legislation.

RIDOT directed its tolling contractor, Kapsch, to extensively test the tolling system this spring before it goes live, deciding that revenue collection can now begin with the contractor certifying that all systems are working properly.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.