Sakonnet Bridge tolls end Friday at noon

The plug will be pulled on the Sakonnet River Bridge gantry Friday at noon. The plug will be pulled on the Sakonnet River Bridge gantry Friday at noon.

PORTSMOUTH/TIVERTON — Starting at noon tomorrow, it won’t even cost you a dime to cross the Sakonnet River bridge.

All crossings of the Sakonnet River Bridge will be free starting Friday, June 20, at noon, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) announced today.

The plug will be pulled on the Sakonnet River Bridge gantry Friday at noon.

The plug will be pulled on the Sakonnet River Bridge gantry Friday at noon.

After passage of the budget by the R.I. General Assembly that reversed tolling on the bridge, the electronic collection of data will be halted.

Because the bridge is equipped with an all-electronic tolling collection system, termination will be nearly as easy as a flip of a switch.

“We commend the efforts of the General Assembly leaders and Governor Chafee who created solutions that are in the best interests of the entire state,” said Stephen C. Waluk, acting chairman of RITBA. “With the allocation of gas tax funds, we will be able to create a plan of finance for repair and maintenance projects needed to keep all four of the major East Bay bridges in safe and excellent condition.”

In July, the board will vote on collections issues and options for the storage, reuse and/or sale of the toll collection system parts that cannot be used on the Newport Pell Bridge.

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5 Comments

  1. Ray Berberick said:

    Like NHL Teams after a Stanley Cup Playoff series, when the players line up and shake hands: Thank you to Governor Chafee, Senate President Paiva-Weed, House Speaker Mattiello, Chairman DaPonte, and Chairman Gallison. A very special thanks to the three authors, Senator DiPalma, Senator Ottiano, and Whip Edwards. A group of citizens, with their backs against the wall, mobilized, then proceeded in a civilized fashion, did not quit, and pressed the East Bay Legislators who in turn carried the cause to the remainder of the 113 legislators. It was a journey that has many adjectives. Ultimately, it the end, the right solution for the whole State prevailed. It is up to us, over the next ten years, to be vigilant that the provisions of Article 21 are seen through to their logical and intended conclusion.

  2. peter hewett said:

    Well said, Ray and I would include you among those deserving of a huge thank you for all the time, effort and energy expended in making reason reign among our elected representatives. It was the right decision to end the tolls on the Sakonnet.

  3. StillBroke said:

    “In July, the board will vote on collections issues and options for the storage, reuse and/or sale of the toll collection system parts that cannot be used on the Newport Pell Bridge.”

    I thought when that the tolling mechanism was installed, RITBA said it could be returned if they ended up not being able to toll?

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