HOPKINTON - The Federal Highway Administration has rejected the Rhode Island Dept. of Transportationâ€™s (RIDOT) request to build toll booths on both sides of Route 95 in between Exits 2 and 3, in the Hopkinton/Richmond area.
Only one opening was left available to receive federal funding for a similar project nationwide, and final approval was given to the state of North Carolina.
The news comes as a relief to many local legislators, including State Rep. Brian Partick Kennedy (D-38 Hopkinton, Wetserly), who sent a passionate letter to RIDOT Director Michael Lewis upon hearing the news of the request late last summer.
Kennedy said he was pleased to hear the news of the applicationâ€™s rejection in a statement last week.
â€śThe project as envisioned by the Department of Transportation would have singled out the people of Hopkinton, Westerly and Richmond, as well as visitors to the Ocean State, to pay a toll for the use of Interstate 95, while the rest of the citizens of the state of Rhode Island would have benefitted from the dollars generated for road projects around the state,â€ť he said.
â€śThere is no nexus between charging people in southwestern Rhode Island a toll, and then building replacement bridges and new on/off highway ramps elsewhere in central and northern Rhode Island,â€ť he continued.
Kennedy believes, however, that the fight is not over yet.
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