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New: State Reps Want Feds to Weigh in on Sakonnet Bridge Tolls

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


The topic of a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge has sparked a furious debate among residents in the East Bay area and now four State Representatives are doing what they can to force a federal hearing on the matter.

Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth), Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) and Rep. Linda Finn (D-Dist. 72, Middletown, Portsmouth) sent a letter today to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking for hearings by the Federal Highway Administration on the state’s plan for tolls.

In a joint statement to LaHood, the quartet said that previous hearings undertaken by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority didn’t go far enough to understand the “negative impacts and burdens” that the tolls would put on citizens and business people from the area.

 “We understand that the hearings conducted by RIDOT and RITBA are a part of their application, but we firmly believe that separate hearings by the Federal highway Administration are necessary and appropriate,” the four said in their letter.

The RIDOT has applied to the Federal Highway Administration for permission to institute tolls of an unspecified rate on the bridge, which connects Tiverton and Portsmouth over the Sakonnet River.


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