First two RhodeWorks gantries cleared for environmental review

PROVIDENCE – The first two gantries that will be installed to automatically collect tolls from trucks on Interstate 95 will not require a full environmental impact statement, according to a new finding from the Federal Highway Administration.

The highway administration has determined the gantries will not have a “significant impact” on the human environment, according to a press release from the R.I. Department of Transportation.

The overhead, electronically activated gantries to be installed next year along Rhode Island highways and major roads will become the funding mechanism for RhodeWorks, an ongoing public works project to replace aging bridges and provide other state transportation improvements.

The final design for the tolling gantries and related technology will now begin, with construction to follow in January. The gantries will collect fares from tractor-trailer trucks automatically. That is expected to begin in February, according to RIDOT.

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The first two locations for the technology will be in southwestern Rhode Island on I-95 and will collect fares from trucks on three bridges. The sites are the Wood River Valley Bridge in Richmond, the northbound and southbound Tefft Hill Trail bridges and the Baker Pines Bridge, also in Richmond.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at macdonald@pbn.com.