Portsmouth files for restraining order against tolls

Sakonnet Bridge tolls
The new tolling gantry as seen from the Portsmouth side Friday morning.

The new tolling gantry as seen from the Portsmouth side Friday morning.

PORTSMOUTH — The Town of Portsmouth has gone back to court to stop the tolls from being imposed on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
In the motion filed by Town Solicitor Kevin P. Gavin Thursday in Rhode Island U.S. District Court, the town asks for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the tolls from going in.
“Plaintiff, the Town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, hereby moves, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65, for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, restraining and enjoining the defendants from proceeding in any way with or towards the imposition of tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, including without limitation the transfer of the bridge from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, and any actions relating to the construction and installation of a proposed All Electronic Toll Collection (AETC) system, pending a full and final adjudication on the merits of this action.
Listed as the defendants are Michael P. Lewis, director of the R.I. Department of Transportation (RIDOT); Daniel J. Berman, division administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHA); Victor Mendez,  administrator of FHA; Buddy Croft, executive director of the R.I. Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA);  and RITBA as a whole.
Workers have been busy in the past few days installing tolling equipment on the bridge, and officials say the tolls will be collected starting on or around July 4.
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