How Should Rhode Island Pay For Newport County's Bridges?
Without tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, how would you make up the funding shortfall on bridge maintenance.
Tiverton, Little Compton and residents across the East Bay are uniting in opposition to the tolls and local legislators are investigating alternative revenue sources to make up for funding shortfalls.
At a senate hearing on Wednesday, dozens of East Bay residents - many of whom are from Tiverton - spoke of the economic and cultural impact that a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge would have on their communty.
Sen. Louis P. Dipalma (D-Dist. 12) recently introduced a bill that if approved, would block tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge and make up the funding shortfall by creating a bridge maintenance fund by adding a $20 surcharge to vehicle inspections fees.
Without a toll, the RITBA will be $17 million short on its maintenance tab annually. Under DiPalma's plan to increase inspection fees, enough revenue would be made up to freeze the Newport Pell Bride toll and prohibit tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, Mt. Hope Bridge and Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge.
Do you think this is the best way to fund bridge maintenance projects? What are your ideas? Tell us in the comments below.