TITLE 24
Highways

CHAPTER 24-12
Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority

SECTION 24-12-9


§ 24-12-9 Powers of authority.

(a) The authority is hereby authorized and empowered:

(1) To adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;

(2) To adopt an official seal and alter it at pleasure;

(3) To maintain an office at such place or places within the state as it may designate;

(4) To sue and be sued in its own name, plead, and be impleaded; provided, however, that any and all actions at law or in equity against the authority shall be brought only in the county in which the principal office of the authority shall be located;

(5) To determine, subject to the approval of the director of transportation, the location and the design standards of the Newport Bridge, the turnpike, and any additional new facility to be constructed;

(6) To issue bonds of the authority for any of its purposes and to refund its bonds, all as provided in this chapter;

(7) To combine for financing purposes the Newport Bridge, the Mount Hope Bridge, the Sakonnet River Bridge, the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, the turnpike, and any additional facility or facilities, or any two (2) or more of such projects;

(8) To borrow money in anticipation of the issuance of bonds for any of its purposes and to issue notes, certificates, or other evidences of borrowing in form as may be authorized by resolution of the authority, the notes, certificates, or other evidence of borrowing to be payable in the first instance from the proceeds of any bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter and to contain on their face a statement to the effect that neither the state, the authority, nor any municipality or other political subdivision of the state shall be obligated to pay the same or the interest thereon except from the proceeds of bonds in anticipation of the issuance of which the notes, certificates, or other evidences of borrowing shall have been issued, or from revenues;

(9) To fix and revise, from time to time, subject to the provisions of this chapter, and to charge and collect tolls for transit over the turnpike and the several parts or sections thereof, and for the use of the Newport Bridge, the Mount Hope Bridge, the Sakonnet River Bridge, the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, and any additional facility acquired, financed, or leased under the provisions of this chapter;

(10) To acquire, hold, and dispose of real and personal property in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties;

(11) To acquire in the name of the authority, by purchase or otherwise, on such terms and conditions and in such manner as it may deem proper, or by the exercise of the rights of condemnation in the manner as provided by this chapter, public or private lands, including public parks, playgrounds, or reservations, or parts thereof or rights therein, rights-of-way, property, rights, easements, and interests as it may deem necessary for carrying out the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that all public property damaged in carrying out the powers granted by this chapter shall be restored or repaired and placed in its original condition as nearly as practicable;

(12) To designate the locations, with the approval of the director of transportation, and establish, limit, and control the points of ingress to and egress from the turnpike and any additional facility as may be necessary or desirable in the judgment of the authority to ensure the proper operation and maintenance thereof, and to prohibit entrance to and exit from any point or points not so designated;

(13) To employ, in its discretion, consulting engineers, attorneys, accountants, construction and financial experts, superintendents, managers, and such other employees and agents as may be necessary in its judgment, and to fix their compensation;

(14) To apply for, receive, and accept from any federal agency aid and/or grants for or in aid of the repair, maintenance, and/or construction of the turnpike, the Newport Bridge, the Sakonnet River Bridge, the Mount Hope Bridge, the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, or any additional facility, and to receive and accept from the state, from any municipality, or other political subdivision thereof and from any other source aid or contributions of either money, property, labor, or other things of value, to be held, used and applied only for the purposes for which the grants and contributions may be made;

(15) To construct grade separations at intersections of the turnpike, the approaches, and highway connections of the Newport Bridge, the Sakonnet River Bridge, the Mount Hope Bridge, the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, and any additional facility with public highways, streets, or other public ways or places, and to change and adjust the lines and grades thereof so as to accommodate the same to the design of the grade separation; the cost of the grade separations and any damage incurred in changing and adjusting the lines and grades of the highways, streets, ways, and places shall be ascertained and paid by the authority as a part of the cost of the project;

(16) To vacate or change the location of any portion of any public highway, street, or other public way or place, sewer, pipe, main, conduit, cable, wire, tower, pole, and other equipment and appliance of the state or of any municipality or other political subdivision of the state and to reconstruct the same at such new location as the authority shall deem most favorable for the project and of substantially the same type and in as good condition as the original highway, street, way, place, sewer, pipe, main, conduit, cable, wire, tower, pole, equipment, or appliance, and the cost of the reconstruction and any damage incurred in vacating or changing the location thereof shall be ascertained and paid by the authority as a part of the cost of the project; any public highway, street, or other public way or place vacated or relocated by the authority shall be vacated or relocated in the manner provided by law for the vacation or relocation of public roads, and any damages awarded on account thereof shall be paid by the authority as a part of the cost of the project;

(17) The authority shall also have the power to make reasonable regulations, subject to the approval of the public utility administrator, for the installation, construction, maintenance, repair, renewal, relocation and removal of tracks, pipes, mains, conduits, cables, wires, towers, poles, and other equipment and appliances (herein called "public utility facilities") of any public utility as defined in § 39-1-2, in, on, along, over, or under any project. Whenever the authority shall determine that it is necessary that any public facilities that now are, or hereafter may be, located in, on, along, over, or under any project should be relocated in the project, or should be removed from the project, the public utility owning or operating the facilities shall relocate or remove the facilities in accordance with the order of the authority; provided, however, that the cost and expenses of the relocation or removal, including the cost of installing the facilities in a new location, or new locations, and the cost of any lands, or any rights or interests in lands, and any other rights acquired to accomplish the relocation or removal, less the cost of any lands or any rights or interests in lands or any other rights of the public utility paid to the public utility in connection with the relocation or removal of the property, shall be ascertained and paid by the authority as a part of the cost of the project. In case of any relocation or removal of facilities, the public utility owning or operating the facilities, its successors or assigns, may maintain and operate the facilities, with the necessary appurtenances, in the new location or new locations, for as long a period, and upon the same terms and conditions, as it had the right to maintain and operate the facilities in their former location or locations;

(18) To make reasonable regulations and to grant easements for the installation, construction, maintenance, repair, renewal, relocation, and removal of pipelines, other equipment, and appliances of any corporation or person owning or operating pipelines in, on, along, over, or under the turnpike, whenever the authority shall determine that it is necessary that any facilities which now are, or hereafter may be located in, on, along, over or under the turnpike should be relocated in the turnpike, or should be removed from the turnpike, the corporation or person owning or operating the facilities shall relocate or remove the facilities in accordance with the order of the authority; provided, however, that the cost and expense of the relocation or removal, including the cost of installing the facilities in a new location, or new locations, and the cost of any lands, or any rights or interests in lands, and any other rights acquired to accomplish the relocation or removal, less the cost of any lands or any rights or interests in lands or any other rights of any corporation or person paid to any corporation or person in connection with the relocation or removal of the property, shall be ascertained and paid by the authority as a part of the cost of the project. In case of any relocation or removal of facilities, the corporation or person owning or operating the facilities, its successors or assigns, may maintain and operate the facilities, with the necessary appurtenances, in the new location or new locations, for as long a period, and upon the same terms and conditions, as it had the right to maintain and operate the facilities in their former location or locations;

(19) To enter upon any lands, waters, and premises for the purpose of making such surveys, soundings, borings, and examinations as the authority may deem necessary or convenient for its purposes, and the entry shall not be deemed a trespass, nor shall an entry for such purposes be deemed an entry under any condemnation proceedings; provided, however, the authority shall pay any actual damage resulting to the lands, water, and premises as a result of the entry and activities as a part of the cost of the project;

(20) To enter into contracts or agreements with any board, commission, public instrumentality of another state or the federal government or with any political subdivision of another state relating to the connection or connections to be established between the turnpike or any additional facility with any public highway or turnpike now in existence or hereafter to be constructed in another state, and with respect to the construction, maintenance, and operation of interstate turnpikes or expressways;

(21) To enter into contracts with the department of transportation with respect to the construction, reconstruction, renovation, acquisition, maintenance, repair, operation, or management of any project and with the Rhode Island state police with respect to the policing of any project;

(22) To make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this chapter; and

(23) To do all other acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted in this chapter.

(24) To grant and/or contract, through the transfer of funds of the authority to the department of transportation, for the construction, reconstruction, acquisition, maintenance, repair, operation, or management by the department of transportation of any project or projects authorized by this chapter, and the department of transportation is authorized to accept any such grant or transfer of funds.

(b) Provided, the authority, in carrying out the provisions of this section, shall hold public hearings prior to the finalization of any specifications or the awarding of any contracts for any project. Provided, further, that any revenue generated by facilities under the control of the authority shall only be used for the purposes of the authority.

(c) The authority is authorized to enter into contracts with the state, or any department of the state, to operate and/or manage toll facilities on state roads or bridges not owned, leased by, or under the control of the authority, and to collect tolls from such facilities on behalf of the department of transportation, provided such tolls shall be set by the state acting through the department of transportation pursuant to chapter 13.1 of title 42.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1954, ch. 3390, § 5; G.L. 1956, § 24-12-9; P.L 1960, ch. 219, §§ 1, 8-10; P.L. 1963, ch. 165, §§ 8-10; P.L. 1986, ch. 139 § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 30, art. 36, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 326, § 154; P.L. 2012, ch. 241, art. 20, § 3; P.L. 2016, ch. 3, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 4, § 1.)