Bridge commission meets Wednesday in Providence

sak bridge

sak bridgePROVIDENCE — The Special Legislative Commission to Study the Funding for East Bay Bridges will convene at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, in Room 35 of the State House.

Commission members will have the opportunity to present personal statements they submitted for inclusion in the report regarding alternative funding for bridges and infrastructure in Rhode Island. Under legislation passed last year, the panel was asked to report its findings by Jan. 15. Those findings will also be reviewed.

The commission, co-chaired by Rep. Helio Melo (D-Dist. 64, East Providence) and Sen. Daniel Da Ponte (D-Dist. 14, East Providence), was established during the 2013 legislative session to allow lawmakers and state officials an opportunity to investigate all types of equitable and reliable funding mechanisms and strategies to support Rhode Island’s bridges.

Last year, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) authorized a 10-cent toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge in order to preserve future tolling options while the commission worked to find alternatives and assess infrastructure funding for the East Bay community. The 10-cent toll cap will be in effect until April 1, 2014.

Members of the public can find additional information and video of the commission’s previous hearings at webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/bridgefunding.

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