Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will install open-road toll booths by Memorial Day weekend.
An open-road toll system will be installed on the new Sakonnet River Bridge by this Memorial Day weekend, reports ABC6.com. Despite pending legislation against the bridge's transfer, a lawsuit filed by the town of Portsmouth and widespread local opposition to tolls, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority plans to install an open-road toll system before the holiday weekend, according to ABC6.com. The cost to install open-road tolling totals as much as $2 million, the RITBA chairman previously stated to Patch. The cost for the arbor, or arch over the bridge, costs about $400,000 alone. Costs are added for the transmitters, cameras and other electronics in the arbor. RITBA previously approved a toll schedule of $.75 for vehicles …
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
A trip over the Sakonnet River Bridge will soon cost drivers. Will it hurt business in RI? Could it help business in Bristol as more drivers use Mt. Hope?
Monday, May 13, 2013
Residents in Portsmouth and Tiverton say they plan to drive around the Sakonnet River Bridge to avoid bridge tolls.
Bridge tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge are not expected to begin until this summer, but area residents are already changing their daily routes to avoid these extra fees. Despite pending legislation, the town of Portsmouth's lawsuit and outcrys from many communities, the Department of Transportation plans to transfer ownership of the Sakonnet River Bridge this summer. The new owners, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, plan to install bridge tolls on the span between Portsmouth and Tiverton. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I asked Portsmouth and Tiverton-Little Compton Patch readers if they were already changing their daily routes to avoid bridge tolls. Here's what a few, who plan to change their route, said: Allen Thibault …
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Several of our Facebook followers said the new Sakonnet Bridge tolls would affect their travel plans this summer — how about you?
In the week since the Rhode Island Bridge and Turnpike Authority formally set the toll rates for the Sakonnet River Bridge, Bristol-Warren Patch readers took to our Facebook page to criticize the move and explain how the new tolls would affect them. Guy Hunt wrote: Well that's one more way to get people to move out of Rhode Island. Cynthia Lachapelle Shannon explained the tolls would cost her: Absolutely $0 because I don't plan on using it any longer. I'll take the scenic route through Bristol, until they toll the Mt. Hope Bridge too. Then I'll take my business elsewhere and go to Horseneck Beach in Westport. Marcia Johnstone Whitney noted the potential impact on Bristol and Warren: It is going to make the traffic in Bristol and Warren a…
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The Newport County Chamber of Commerce supports local lawmakers' efforts to find sustainable funding for bridge maintenance other than relying on tolls.
The Board of Directors of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce recently voted unanimously to support Sen. Louis DiPalma’s bill to freeze tolls on the Newport Bridge and prohibit tolling on the Sakonnet River Bridge. Co-sponsored by Sens. Teresa Paiva Weed, Walter S. Felag, Christopher S. Ottiano and David Bates, DiPalma’s bill is unique from all other legislation relating to bridge tolling. Senate Bill 0242 would prohibit tolling on the Sakonnet, Mt. Hope and Jamestown Verrazano Bridges and stop any future increases in toll rates on the Newport Pell Bridge. This bill is the first to address the need for a sustainable funding mechanism for bridge maintenance and for state Department of Transportation (DOT) funding, making it the first…
Monday, March 11, 2013
Federal approval is still needed before tolls can be placed on the Sakonnet Bridge.
Plans to install tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge still await federal approval, despite comments by state Department of Transportation Director Michael P. Lewis to a legislative committee last week that tolling would be implemented this summer. DOT Spokesman Bryan Lucier clarified remarks Lewis made during the hearing before the House Finance Subcommittee on Transportation. He told Patch Friday afternoon that plans to implement tolls are stalled, as the state awaits an answer from the Federal Highway Administration on its application to impose tolls on Route 24. "We are still waiting for word from the Federal Highway Administration regarding our application — the re-evaluation," Lucier said. "That's kind of where we stand. Obviously the…
Friday, January 18, 2013
Click to find out how you can give your feedback to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The CEO of Newport Grand Slots weighs in on the bridge toll proposal — what do you think?
Plans to place bridge tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge could end up in a huge loss in gambling revenue for the state, says the Newport Grand slot parlor's chief executive officer. Newport Grand CEO Diane Hurley tells The Newport Daily News that bridge tolls would cost the state a maximum of $16 million in gambling revenue. Bridge tolls could be in place as early as this summer, according to The Providence Journal. Local and state politicians have been fighting plans to place tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The Department of Transportation (DOT) held public hearings in Tiverton and Portsmouth last month. Residents are asked to submit their opinion on tolls to the DOT by Jan. 18. What do you think? Do you agree with …
Monday, January 7, 2013
The DOT will accept written testimonials on the impact of a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge from resident of nearby towns, including Bristol and Warren, through Jan. 18.
The following is based on a press release from the state Department of Transportation. Residents of comunities near the Sakonnet River Bridge — including Bristol and Warren — must submit personal statements to the state Department of Transportation (DOT) on how a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge would impact their lives by Jan. 18. All comments will be included the DOT's environmental impact survey to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Ultimately, the FHWA will rule on whether a toll can be installed on the Sakonnet River Bridge, based upon the findings of the environmental and economic impact statements. According to DOT Director Michael P. Lewis, the reports will be filed with the FHWA by the end of the month. In December, the…
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed reappointed the eight-term state Senator to the chairmanship of the Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs Committee.
State Sen. Walter S. Felag Jr. (D-Dist. 10), recently reelected to an eighth term representing Bristol, Warren, and Tiverton, kept the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Special Legislation and Veterans Affairs, following his reappointment by Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed. Paiva Weed announced the 12 appointments of committee chairs in a press released issued Wednesday afternoon. In her statement, Paiva Weed said: “I am extremely fortunate to lead a talented team of dedicated individuals committed to the future prosperity of our state. “I thank each of these leaders for their willingness to serve in these demanding capacities. They each bring unique expertise and perspectives, and all Rhode Islanders will be the beneficiaries …