CDM Smith to work on Rhode Island’s truck-only tolling project

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Multi-disciplinary engineering and construction consultancy CDM Smith has revealed that it is part of the team that will deploy a new statewide truck-only tolling system in Rhode Island.

Kapsch TrafficCom was recently awarded a contract by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) for the design, development, testing, installation, operation and maintenance of the truck tolling system, and will lead the project. RIDOT’s new toll system is part of Rhode Island’s larger RhodeWorks initiative, which aims to strengthen the state economy by investing in repairs and upgrades to its transportation infrastructure. CDM Smith will serve as deputy program manager under Kapsch, and will provide tolling infrastructure engineering services, quality control administration, and tolling system design, development and testing support.

The new all-electronic tolling (AET) system will use a single-gantry design at 13 bridge and ramp toll points to enable free-flowing traffic conditions, meaning that trucks can pay cashless tolls while traveling at highway speeds. Toll fees will be collected either by the vehicle’s onboard E-ZPass transponder, which is interoperable with the rest of the E-ZPass electronic toll collection system network, or by video license plate capture for drivers without an onboard unit.

Vehicle classification and video tolling will be enabled by the Kapsch Vehicle Detection and Classification sensor (nVDC), which, when mounted on the gantry, can classify the vehicle’s size to ensure that only trucks are tolled. The Kapsch nVDC approach precludes the use of any sensors to be installed in the pavement, which will contribute to RhodeWorks’ efforts by lowering maintenance costs and extending roadway lifespan.

The AET system will enable RIDOT to generate some of the revenue needed to repair and properly maintain Rhode Island’s structurally deficient bridges, the majority of which are impacted by the weight of heavy commercial vehicles. Cars and small trucks will not be tolled under the program. The full toll system project is planned to be in revenue service in early 2019.

“We are proud to partner with Kapsch, a global leader in intelligent mobility solutions, on this incredible opportunity to help RIDOT use alternative funding for much-needed bridge repairs on their interstates,” said Kevin Johnson, CDM Smith’s client service leader. “We’re excited to continue working with RIDOT, after helping the department implement the RhodeWorks truck toll legislation, which led to this first all-electronic truck toll program in the USA.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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