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Press Release

More than 200 transportation leaders from seven countries meet in Newport, to address road safety and operations and give back to the local community

TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2016
Bill Cramer, Communications Director, IBTTA
202-659-4620 x26 | 202-210-2962 mobile

IBTTA joins with local partners to make part of Fort Adams accessible to Rhode Islanders

NEWPORT, R.I. -- Earl J. "Buddy" Croft, III, Executive Director, Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, and President of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), this week led a delegation of 65 volunteers from transportation agencies across the globe U.S. in a community service project in Newport to benefit all Rhode Islanders. The service project preceded IBTTA's Maintenance & Roadway Operations Workshop in Newport, May 15-17.

"Each year, IBTTA does a community service project to give back to the local community where our meeting is held," said Croft. "This year, I was proud to lead our volunteers in a day-long effort benefiting the Southern Redoubt, a historic part of Fort Adams State Park. For 60 years, this portion of the state park was inaccessible to the public. We helped turn that around by constructing a bridge across the fort’s original moat, building staircases, clearing out 40 tons of debris, clearing brush, landscaping and painting."

Croft said, The IBTTA volunteers worked in partnership with the local Boys and Girls Club in Newport County, and the James L. Maher Center, a group that integrates individuals with developmental challenges into the workforce.

"We were honored to work with these local groups to make this area of the park accessible to Rhode Islanders for the first time in 60 years," said Croft. "And it is equally rewarding to know that this effort helps create jobs for people with developmental challenges."

Following the successful completion of the project, the volunteers joined other transportation professionals at IBTTA's Maintenance & Roadways Operations Workshop held at the Hyatt Regency Newport. The workshop brought together transportation and tolling industry experts from across the U.S. and around the world to address today’s major safety, infrastructure, maintenance and operations’ challenges.

"Our community service project and meeting in Newport coincided perfectly with Infrastructure Week," said Patrick D. Jones, Executive Director and CEO, IBTTA, Washington, D.C. "Each was a call to action that emphasized people, partnerships and progress. The community service project was a great way to kick-off a meeting that brought industry leaders together to improve our transportation systems by harnessing new technologies that provide consumers with safer, more efficient and reliable travel."

This year’s meeting —hosted by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, examined topics such the future of on-road technologies, including connected vehicles; drone use and policy; integrated systems management and operation for the future; and law enforcement and incident management.

Speakers included Croft and Jones as well as Peter Garino, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, Providence; James Manni, Director of Operations, Safety & Security, Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, Jamestown; Daniel Jacobs, PP, General Manager, Transportation and Revenue, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York; Trey Baker, Associate Research Scientist, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Austin; Peter Merfeld, Chief Operating Officer, Maine Turnpike Authority, Portland, ME; and Toshiyuki Oka, Engineer, and Juan Takeuchi, Manager, NEXCO-Central, Nagoya, Japan.

For more information about IBTTA, please contact Bill Cramer,, 202-659-4620 x26 or visit  

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The host of IBTTA's 2016 Maintenance and Operations Workshop was the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA). RITBA operates and maintains the Mount Hope Bridge, the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, and Route 138 through Jamestown, the Newport Pell Bridge, and the Sakonnet River Bridge. RITBA was created in 1954 by the Rhode Island General Assembly as a body corporate and politic, with powers to construct, acquire, maintain, and operate bridge projects as defined by law. For more information, visit

The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) is the worldwide association for the owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve them. Founded in 1932, IBTTA has members in 22 countries on six continents. Through advocacy, thought leadership and education, members are implementing state-of-the-art, innovative user-based transportation financing solutions to address the critical infrastructure challenges of the 21st Century. For more information, visit or join us on Twitter @IBTTA or #TollRoads