Feds give state green light for bridge toll


The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved the addition of all-electronic toll collection for the new Sakonnet Bridge.  

In that ruling, the FHWA "concurs with RIDOT’s Final Environmental Impact Statement that the imposition of tolls on the bridge does not create any new significant environmental impacts," the state said.

There is no mention of economic impact in the announcement.

Still to be determined are state bills (hearing Thursday) filed that aim to block the tolling plan, and a lawsuit being filed by the town of Portsmouth.

In its decision, the FHWA recommended the following measures:

• Monitor traffic diversion once tolls are implemented for a period of five years and provide an annual report on traffic volumes, estimated diversion rates and effects on low-income and minority communities;

• Develop a process to mitigate impacts of the toll to the Little Compton School Department which buses students over the bridge to Portsmouth High School; and

•   Require a fare structure that addresses the accumulated cost of repeated, daily trips over the bridge.

RIDOT and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) anticipate toll implementation this summer. RITBA recently approved a toll schedule of $.75 for vehicles with transponders issued by RITBA, including out-of-state residents.  It further approved an unlimited number of trips per calendar day after motorists pay for one round-trip crossing.



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"There is no mention of economic impact in the announcement." Why would they address such a minor detail??? sic

If the residents of RI do NOT make note of every senator and representative that voted for this at the State House and vote them out in the next election... something is wrong. If this doesn't infuriate the voters... taxing them to go from one part of their state to another... nothing will.

This is absolutely outrageous!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | Report this

This state will rue the day they put tolls on Sakonnet Bridge. Metacom Ave & Hope Street in Bristol will reach high traffic volumes well past what these roads are equiped to handle.The traffic tie ups in Bristol & Warren will be astronomical. Rhode Island politicians will have a lot of angry voters on their hands, not to mention the business that will be lost on Aquineck Island will devastate the economy.

Stupid is as stupid does, Governor Gump.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | Report this

This is just another example of government working for themselfs and not the people, not only do I blame Chaffee, but were was Whitehouse and Cicilinne, How many people voiced their concerned about this and yet the government got what they wanted to further tax the people and lessen their freedom to travel within their state. Think its time to hold another tea party and dump tea off the bridge. unfair tax to the people of Tiverton and Portsmouith and the rest of RI.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | Report this

This is bull now everyone's gotta suffer bad enough taxes an gas is skyhigh I live in mass but I work in Newport now me an others that live in mass but work in Portsmouth Middletown an Newport gotta suffer to pay just to go to work awful just awful traffic is gonna be a mess deff gonna be back up 2 lanes on each side ohhh yes just wait an see they shoulda raised ticket prices for people that get pullover or speeding let the people that break the law pay why should we when people r trying to make a living going to work shouldn't pay for a toll that's bs this is gonna be one Big mess I bet u that Alott of people r angry and will not settle for this just wait an see for ya own eyes surprised mt hope doesn't have a toll yet every other bridge in ri pretty much does bridge isn't even done yet there obvv way past there dead line the roads r a mess don't worry about the bridge fix them damn roads there a mess

Thursday, April 25, 2013 | Report this

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