To the editor:
I would like to make a plea for passage of the bills aimed to prevent a bridge toll. I am a Portsmouth resident who works in Tiverton. I sometimes cross the bridge three times a day. When I arrive at work many mornings I find numerous contractors from the island picking up material. They also can come in several times in the same day.
These are the points I would like to make.
Have you ever seen a transportation report that doesn’t show negligible impact when they want to do a project?
The RITBA was created specifically for the Newport Bridge project.
The Mount Hope Bridge was privately built and acquired by the state.
The Sakonnet River Bridge was built with taxpayer money and was a state project.
The state has apologized many times for not maintaining this bridge and being forced to build another. They basically misappropriated funds from taxpayers in this area and put the money in other areas of the state.
Federal dollars have gone into building this new bridge.
Since this is a state bridge, it is part of all the transportation bills the people of Rhode Island have approved over the years.
The bridge belongs to the people. We all agreed through the years to fund these transportation bills so the contract for this bridge is between the people of Rhode Island and the state. I don’t even see how it is legal to transfer this bridge out of the people’s hands to another authority with the sweep of a pen! I would consider this vote a contract all the people of RI have approved and a contract burden shared by all the people of RI. Is there even any legality to what the state is imposing? Read Article One, Section Two of the RI Constitution.
Think about it. Do we really want the state to abdicate all responsibility for access to Aquidneck Island? The people of Rhode Island should all stand together in this fight. Your corner of the state will be next.
When an issue this unfair comes up, we the people should rally around our fellow Rhode Islanders and their representatives and put a stop to the division.
The state comes up with these solutions to their mismanagement of our tax dollars by profiling and targeting areas of the state where they think they can get away with their schemes with the least opposition. This is a classic case of divided we fall ( or should we say fail?).
People of Rhode Island and their representatives, I am pleading with you to stand behind the no toll issue for the Sakonnet Bridge. Transportation and economic development benefit all the people of our state no matter where they live.
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