Tuesday, May 14, 2013
After a multiple car pile-up on Monday, Tiverton Police urge motorists to commute with caution near the construction zone on Route 24.
Although motorists sustained only minor injuries during a multiple-car crash on Monday morning, Tiverton Police are warning commuters to use caution in the construction zone by the Sakonnet River Bridge. Several cars were involved in the crash on the Tiverton side of Route 24 during the morning rush hour. Travel lanes are currently narrowed to accommodate bridge construction and the speed limi in the construction zone temporarily limited to 40 mph. "Traffic has been backing up there due to the reconfiguration," said Chief Thomas Blakey. "During construction, pay attention. You cannot be too aware." Construction is ongoing on Route 24 and will continue to involve numerous lane shifts. Exit 5 which directs traffic onto Main Road on Route 24 …
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The federal government approves a plan for tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
The Federal Highway Administration has approved a plan to bring tolls to the new Sakonnet River Bridge, announced the Rhode Island Department of Transportation today. The FHWA issued a Revised Record of Decision approving the addition of an All-Electronic Toll Collection for the new Sakonnet Bridge. The RROD concurs with RIDOT’s Final Environmental Impact Statement that the imposition of tolls on the bridge does not create any new significant environmental impacts. According to the DOT, the FHWA recommended the following measures to enhance the overall effects of the addition of tolls to the bridge: Toll collection is expected to begin this summer. RITBA recently approved a toll schedule of $.75 for vehicles with transponders issued …
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The Portsmouth Town Council will file a lawsuit against several defendants, including the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority.
The Portsmouth Town Council will file a lawsuit against several defendants including the state's Department of Transportation director and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, in response to proposed bridge tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The council voted unanimously Monday night to file a complaint in U.S. District Court in an effort to stop tolls, reports The Sakonnet Times. The complaint to be filed is attached in its entirety at right as a pdf. The complaint accuses the RITBA and Michael Lewis, director of the DOT, of violating the Federal-Aid Highway Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority voted to establish toll rates last Wednesday despite pending …
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Resident Peter Hewett weighs in on the fight against tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
Tuesday, April 23
To the Editor: I continue to be strongly opposed to establishing tolls of any amount on the Sakonnet Bridge. Tolling is neither necessary nor reasonable. It is less than a courageous reach for a quick and easy supplemental revenue source by our governor and general assembly and a shirking of their responsibilities to ensure that the Department of Transportation is adequately funded to maintain our state's infrastructure. Nor is there, in my opinion, any compelling reason why the existing tolls on the Pell Bridge need to be increased. In fact, if our elected representatives had the courage to do their jobs honorably, without always seemingly focused myopically on re-election, those tolls could be reduced, which would benefit everyone …
Thursday, April 18, 2013
The Portsmouth Town Council will meet in executive session this Monday to discuss a possible lawsuit against the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority.
The Portsmouth Town Council will discuss filing a lawsuit this Monday against several defendants, including the state's Department of Transportation chairman and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, reports The Sakonnet Times. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority voted to establish toll rates on the bridge on Wednesday despite pending legislation to block tolls. The town council will meet early Monday at 6:30 p.m. in executive session to discuss its opposition to tolls. The complaint to be discussed is attached in its entirety at right as a pdf.
Saturday, April 13, 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 unanimously voted 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 senators 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 not only prohibits tolling on the Sakonnet, Mt. Hope and Jamestown Verrazano bridges but it also freezes tolls 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 real opportunity for …
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. …
Friday, April 5, 2013
What do you think about these rates?
Three options for bridge tolls were recently released by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA), according to the Sakonnet Times. The three options will be discussed at Saturday's toll workshop in Portsmouth. The options range from charging Rhode Island residents with an unlimited 30-day E-Zpass for $40 to charging all E-Zpass holders $1.60 per trip. To see the full range of toll options, click here. What do you think about the toll rate options? Tell us in the comment section below!
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will hold two toll workshops this Saturday in Portsmouth.
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will hold two bridge toll workshops this Saturday at the Roger Williams University Conference Center, reports The Sakonnet Times. The first workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. The second workshop will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. All residents are encouraged to attend these meetings. Additionally, the RITBA will host a virtual meeting and video conference on Google Plus athttp://bit.ly/WYxwGh from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. as another avenue for residents to discuss details with RITBA officials. “As we have done in the past when considering new tolls or increasing existing tolls, we would like the public to have the opportunity to provide their input about tolling and the types of discounts…
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Rep. Raymond Gallison says the Turnpike and Bridge Authority should give the public more chances to oppose bridge tolls.
Rep. Raymond Gallison (Dist. 69, Bristol and Portsmouth) said the fight against bridge tolls is "certainly not over" and more workshops should be held. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will hold two bridge toll workshops this Saturday at the Roger Williams University Conference Center. The first workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. The second workshop will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Gallison released the following statement on Wednesday in response to the workshops being scheduled. Chairman Dalington can say that Saturday's workshops may be the only opportunity for East Bay, Aquidneck Island and Southcoast residents to comment on the toll rates but he doesn't set the policies and laws for the State of Rhode Island …