Truckers circle State House in noisy protest against tolls

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Nearly 60 trucks converged on the Rhode Island State House in a noisy protest against Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s plan to install highway truck tolls to raise money to repair the state’s deteriorated bridges.

Drivers of tractor-trailers and other trucks from around the state and southeastern Massachusetts honked their horns and flashed headlights Thursday in a message of opposition to the proposed public works bill set to be introduced in the General Assembly this winter.

The legislation is expected to include up to 14 gantries where large commercial trucks will be tolled to help pay for bridge and road work.

Protest organizer Bob Lafleur, executive director of Rhode Island Independent Contractors & Associates, said his owner-operator members will be hit hard if they must pay the multiple tolls.

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