The Rhode Island Department of Transportation said it will temporarily close an idled weigh station where commercial trucks
park along Interstate 95 South between Exits 5 and 3 in Richmond, as a contractor stations offices there for the state's truck tolling program.
The announcement said the weigh station "will be used temporarily by Kapsch, the company contracted with RIDOT to design, build, operate and maintain Rhode Island's upcoming all-electronic truck tolling program. The company will establish a field office and testing location at that site."
RIDOT said that during the closure, truckers can instead use the nearby Travel America Center off Exit 5B, which is the interchange just before the weigh station. That privately operated facility, it added, offers a range of amenities "including parking with a capacity for 180 trucks," plus food, lodging, fuel and a truck maintenance garage.
The Westerly Sun reported that Kapsch will install the program's first overhead tolling gantries at Hopkinton and Richmond, and that a RIDOT spokesman said they will be operational by the end of 2017.
Overnight parking options for long-haul truck drivers has become a significant highway-use issue along major transportation corridors in recent years, as the growth of truck traffic has often left drivers scrambling for safe public and private facilities where they can rest overnight and comply with federal work-hour limits.
A number of state DOTs have been taking steps to aid truckers by allowing parking in such facilities as unused weigh stations or rest areas, and some by adding message systems to help alert drivers to parking options ahead.
Outgoing Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed an executive order on July 17 to conduct a "comprehensive assessment" of the state's electronic tolling plan to ensure that out-of-state drivers "contribute their fair share" to the operation and maintenance of...
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