To the editor:
During the process of the new Sakonnet River Bridge being built, there has been debate about whether there should be a toll or not. There has been controversy over this topic since Rhode Island starting thinking about the toll. Not only does this affect the commuters that cross the bridge twice a day, but it also affects the local businesses on Aquidneck Island as well.
“The Sakonnet River Bridge handles 40,000 cars a day, which is higher than the Newport and Jamestown bridges combined,” said Robert L. Mushen, Little Compton Town Council president at a council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 9. The average commuter would have to spend as much as $2,400 a year just on the toll if they cross the bridge twice per day five times a week. Why should the daily traveler have to pay to go to work? This is a question that many citizens have been asking. There was even a rally at Clement’s Marketplace on Friday, Aug. 10, which brought great visibility to those opposed to the tolls.
If the tolls are approved to be put in on the bridge, Aquidneck Island will go downhill because no one will want to cross the bridge. Many businesses are thinking of moving to Tiverton or even Fall River, just so they don’t suffer the damage that the toll will cause.
Together we can make a difference, either by rallying or simply sending a letter to the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority expressing our feelings about the toll. It will be the worst thing to happen to Aquidneck Island and all of the commuters that cross the bridge each day.