HOPKINTON - The State of Rhode Island has submitted an application to the federal government to install toll booths on both sides of Interstate 95 in between Exits 1 and 2 in Hopkinton.
According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), the tolls would be used to generate revenue for a funding gap in the stateâ€™s highway budget. DOT has also proposed to use the revenue to replace and repair deteriorating areas of Route 95 throughout the state.
These areas include the Providence Viaduct, which carries Route 95 past downtown Providence, the Pawtucket S-curve bridges and the Route 95/Route 4 connector. According to a report from The Providence Journal, the estimated cost of replacing the Providence Viaduct is $140 million.
Both local officials in Hopkinton and state officials representing Hopkinton were not aware of the proposal when it was made. Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (D-38) immediately sent a letter to DOT Director Michael Lewis voicing his displeasure with they way Hopkinton officials were overlooked in this matter.
In Kennedyâ€™s letter, he says that he found out about the toll proposal from a television newscast, which he found â€śshocking.â€ť
â€śAt no point in time have you or anyone from the Department of Transportation even inquired about the support or lack thereof, for tolls on Interstate 95 in Hopkinton,â€ť he wrote.
For more information, pick up a copy of The Chariho Times.