Lawmakers aim to make utilities repair roads they’ve torn up

By The Associated Press


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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Two Democratic leaders in Rhode Island have introduced a bill to require public utilities to repave and repair roadways that their work has altered.

State Rep. Joseph McNamara and Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey introduced the “Rhode Island Utility Fair Share Roadway Repair Act.”

McNamara, chairman of the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee, says utility companies too often do shoddy repairs after tearing up a road for underground work. He called the state’s roads a ‘tapestry of potholes and patch jobs.”

McNamara and McCaffrey want the roadways repaired to the satisfaction of the state or municipality controlling the road.

The legislation would also provide for a complaint procedure for defective or incomplete repairs by public utilities. McCaffrey says utilities should be held accountable when they tear up public roads.

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