The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) today announced that the open road tolling (ORT) lanes at the Claiborne Pell Bridge plaza will be closed October 14-28, 2021 to facilitate the transition to all-electronic tolling. 

The ORT lanes are the “free flow” traffic lanes equipped with an overhead gantry, located in the middle of the plaza.  While the ORT lanes are closed, all traffic will be directed through the gated lanes.  The outer lane in each direction will be available for either E-ZPass or bill-by-mail transactions during rush hours, weekdays 7 AM to 10 AM and 3 PM to 6 PM. 

“Motorists are asked to use caution while travelling through the plaza and allow extra travel time. They should also take this opportunity to ensure that their E-ZPass payment and vehicle information is current and their transponders properly mounted.” said RITBA Executive Director Lori Caron Silveira.   “We are taking all necessary steps to minimize the potential impact that the closure of the ORT lanes may have on travel through the plaza. We appreciate everyone’s patience and attention to safety as we complete this important project.”

The closure of the ORT lanes is expected to continue for approximately 2 weeks to allow for installation of equipment and software and to address lane configurations in preparation for the transition to all-electronic tolling at the end of the month. 

RITBA will stop taking cash and credit card transactions beginning on October 27th at 11pm and will complete the transition by October 28th at 11pm. During the transition, which will happen first in the eastbound lanes (heading toward Newport) and then in the westbound lanes (heading toward Jamestown), motorists are again advised to use extra caution when going through the plaza.

To register for an E-ZPass visit

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).