The Rhode Island Senate approved Gov. Gina Raimondo's RhodeWorks proposal by a 25-12 vote Feb. 11, authorizing toll collection on heavy-duty tractor-trailers to fund bridge repairs in the state. Shortly thereafter, Raimondo signed the bill into law.
The state's House of Representatives took about seven hours but voted 52-21 on the night of Feb. 10 to approve the proposal.
"We are here now … to get Rhode Island's roads and bridges repaired, rebuilt and maintained for the long haul, so we don't have to keep patching the problem,” Rep. Raymond Gallison said in introducing the bill.
Under Raimondo’s plan, Rhode Island would borrow $300 million against money coming to the state from the federal FAST Act, refinance previous loans for another $120 million and gain $45 million a year through 14 truck-only tolls.