A questionable RIDOT road sign makes truckers go the long way.

Chris Maxwell of the Rhode Island Trucking Association (RITA) has put out a statement shining a spotlight on the road sign pictured in the featured image of this post:

This sign presumably pertains to the weight restriction recently placed on a Route 37 bridge.  The restriction, posted without public notification on October 11, lowered the maximum vehicle weight to 16 tons.  Trucks up to 32,000 pounds are still permitted to traverse this bridge.

“No trucks means no trucks,” emphasized RITA President Chris Maxwell.  “This is a clear contradiction to the 16-ton posting of the bridge itself.  You cannot deter all trucks when there still exists and allowable weight of which many carriers are running at or under.”

According to Maxwell, this area in particular, in proximity to TF Green International Airport, has a “very high frequency” of trucks that should still be able to use the exit and the bridge.  Why an incorrect limit may have been attached to the exit signs (North- and Southbound) is not clear; the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has not provided an explanation or response to Anchor Rising as of this writing.  The limitation (whether the total ban of trucks or the weight-limited restriction) does not appear to force trucks through additional gantries in the state’s controversial truck-tolling system.

Whatever the cause of the confusion, the incident is emblematic of the economic experience of living in Rhode Island.  Trouble with infrastructure following on years of inadequate planning and maintenance force restrictive actions, and the method and execution of those actions forces Rhode Islanders to lose time, money, and peace of mind as they take the long way around to get to their goals.

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