Meeting on tolls in Portsmouth Wednesday


PORTSMOUTH — Sen. Christopher Ottiano (D-Dist. 11-Bristol, Portsmouth, Tiverton) will discuss the Sakonnet River Bridge tolls at an open meeting hosted by Portsmouth Concerned Citizens this Wednesday, March 5.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the upstairs portion of Scampi restaurant, 657 Park Ave.

Two pieces of legislation — Senate bill S-2335 and House bill H-7432 — would establish the Rhode Island Transportation Infrastructure Fund, which would altogether eliminate the toll if passed.

The Senate Committee on Finance has scheduled the bill for a hearing and possible consideration on Thursday, March 6, at the rise of the Senate (approximately 4:45 p.m.) in the Senate Lounge.

The legislation would provide a new method to fund transportation and bridge costs in Rhode Island while adding funding to the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA).

The origin of the bill is rooted in more than a year of discussion regarding the implementation of tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. If approved, the legislation would eradicate the need for a toll on the bridge by diverting existing revenue streams to one fund used for all state-controlled roads and bridges.



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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.