UPDATE: Cicilline, Gemma, Doherty Come Out Against Sakonnet River Bridge Toll

Thursday, September 06, 2012


It looks like incumbent Congressman David Cicilline and Republican challenger Brendan Doherty can agree on one thing: There is no place for tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.

After Doherty held a press conference today criticizing a plan to add a $4.00 toll in 2013, Cicilline’s campaign released a statement reminding voters that he too is against the proposal.

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“Over the past 15 months, I have had the opportunity to travel throughout the First District and speak with Rhode Islanders about the things that concern them and their families,” Doherty said today.. “Here in the East Bay the predominant issue on the minds of residents and businesses is the impact that the new Sakonnet River Bridge toll will have on their lives. An estimated 40,000 vehicles per day use the existing bridge. That’s a lot of traffic. Whether it is a small business owner in Portsmouth who will see his business suffer, or a resident in Tiverton who will have to pay more to get to work in Bristol, this toll will affect the lives of thousands of Rhode Islanders and must not be ignored.”

Eric Hyers, Cicilline’s campaign manager pointed out that Congressman expressed his opposition to the toll a month ago.

“The imposition of this toll is another example of why the federal government has to be a strong partner in repairing the infrastructure of our country and our state,” Hyers said. “For almost two years, Rhode Islanders have been waiting for House Republicans to move beyond partisanship and work with Democrats to rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges and schools. Instead, they dragged their feet on the surface transportation spending bill for months, refused to consider the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act that Congressman Cicilline has co-sponsored, and Republicans led by Paul Ryan pushed for a budget that would slash transportation funding by 25% over the next ten years."


The campaign for Democratic Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma released the following statement:

Mr. Gemma is strongly opposed to the proposed tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. From his experience as a businessman, Mr. Gemma understands how detrimental these tolls will be for Aquidneck Island, Tiverton, Little Compton and Bristol. Mr. Gemma has been an advocate for increasing federal support for local infrastructure projects, including the Sakonnet River Bridge, since he began campaigning in April.


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