Bridge toll will be terrible for our towns

Bridge toll will be terrible for our towns


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.


Courtney Lachapelle



  1. I am not big on taxes or the government adding additional fees, however, use taxes do make sense to me. When I visit Florida, I am perfectly happy to drive the turnpike north vs the jammed I95, and I am happy to pay the toll, as sitting in traffic would eat up gas, and my time. Therefore I am willing to pay a toll on a bridge or other road to allow me to save time (and gas).

    That said, in response to your math, everything that I have read, suggests that the bridge tolls would be the same as Newport Bridge, if so, your math suggests that the toll would be $4.62 per trip (2400/520=4.615). If it was $4 a trip then it would be 2080 per year. Now if you check the toll rates on the Newport bridge you would find, commuter rates of $.91, and max monthly tolls of $40 per month. Therefore IF it was to be the same as the Newport Bridge the most out of state would pay would be $480 a year (12x$40) or $473.20 (520x.91) or RI residents at $431.60 (520x.83).

    Of course the above math is based on driving over the bridge 10 time every week of the year, which if you are driving to work 260 days a year good for you, but that suggests that you don’t take vacation or days off, or get holidays. Your option if they do put tolls in place would be to drive around or find a job on the side of the bridge that you live.

    I drive almost daily on West Main road in Portsmouth, and I am amazed by the number of Mass registered cars pass me in the 1/2 mile stretch of 114 in front of the Melville school 20MPH zone. Why shouldn’t those working on the island, living in another state contribute to the road that they drive on daily?