Friday, May 24, 2013
Construction crews are expected to finish installing the toll gantry in Portsmouth on Friday morning.
Commuters traveling from Portsmouth over the Sakonnet River Bridge on Route 24 will drive underneath the tolling gantry for the first time Friday morning - but they won't be charged until this summer. Although construction crews are slated to complete the installation of the tolling infrastructure by early Friday morning, the technology won't be ready to start charging drivers for at least another three to four weeks. "Yes, tonight [Thursday] it will be erected across the roadway and be up by the time people get up tomorrow [Friday] morning, but this doesn't mean it will be operational," said David Darlington, chairman of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority. "By [Friday] morning, it will just be in place. Equipment will still…
Thursday, May 23, 2013
The town of Portsmouth filed a restraining order in U.S. District Court against the implementation of bridge tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge Thursday.
The town of Portsmouth filed a restraining order in U.S. District Court on Thursday against the implementation of bridge tolls, only a day after the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority announced construction of a toll system. The temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction calls for restraining the defendents from proceeding in any way with or towards the imposition of tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, including the transfer of the bridge from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, and any actions relating to the construction and installation of a proposed All Electronic Toll Collection (AETC) system. The full order reads as follows: Plaintiff, the Town of …
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 …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Seasonal businesses across the East Bay speak out against tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
Seasonal business owners in the East Bay are worried that a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge could alienate their already inconstant business. In a business that is largely motivated by weather, business owners at Tiverton and Portsmouth's popular summer-time eateries agreed that a toll would be a deterrent to customers. "The sales tax dollars from small businesses over here help the whole state and I can't imagine we're going to end up making more by adding this toll," said Domenic Bitto, who owns the Tiverton seafood shack Evelyn's Drive-In with his wife. Bitto, like other business owners in the region attended hearings with the state Department of Transportation in protest to a Sakonnet River Bridge toll. "We get a lot of people who …
Thursday, May 9, 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 Yes…
Friday, April 12, 2013
Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) is urging residents to testify before the House Committee on Finance.
Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) is urging residents to testify before the House Committee on Finance later this month on bills that would derail plans to institute tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The bridge spans Portsmouth and Tiverton; however, many residents in area communities, including Bristol, Middletown and Newport, have expressed concern about the plan. Two bills dealing with bridge tolls are scheduled for a hearing, 2013-H 5137, which is co-sponsored by Representative Canario, and 2013-H 5644. Both would repeal the transfer of authority for the Sakonnet River Bridge and the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge from the Department of Transportation to the RI Bridge and Turnpike Authority. …
Monday, April 8, 2013
What were your thoughts on the bridge toll workshops held Saturday in Portsmouth?
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority hel two bridge toll workshops on Saturday at the Roger Williams University Conference Center. Many local residents attended the hearing to voice their opinions on a plan to transfer ownership of the Sakonnet River Bridge and add bridge tolls to the bridge, which spans Portsmouth and Tiverton. Did you attend the toll workshop? What were your thoughts? Should there be more workshops? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Several speakers will provide updates in the fight against tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge during a rally a Lil Bear Restaurant on March 24.
Friday, March 8, 2013
DOT plans to begin tolling on the Sakonnet River Bridge this summer are stalled, pending federal approval.
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 on Thursday 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 …
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Tiverton residents worry small businesses across the East Bay will suffer if a toll is installed on the Sakonnet River Bridge this summer.
Dozens of residents from across the East Bay united in opposition on Wednesday against the installation of a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge, warning lawmakers that it would crush small businesses and divide a close-knit community. The hearing before the Senate Finance Committee focused more than five hours of testimony on two pending bills. The first bill, RI Senate Bill 20, would repeal the transfer of the Sakonnet River and Jamestown-Verrazzano bridges from the state Department of Transportation to the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority. Introduced by Sen. Walter S. Felag (D-Dist. 10), it is cosigned by Sen. M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D-Dist. 13), Sen. Christopher S. Ottiano (R-Dist. 11), Sen. David E. Bates (R-Dist. 32) and and …