Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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 …
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 …
Monday, May 13, 2013
No injuries were reported, but traffic delays occurred Monday morning after multiple reports of vehicle crashes on Route 24 South.
Multiple motor vehicle crashes occurred Monday morning near construction on the new Sakonnet River Bridge, according to EastBayRI. Patch received numerous reports of vehicle delays on Route 24 South near the Fish Road exit around 10 a.m. Renee Cwiek Sartini: Traffic's backed up all the way down Fish Road. Something happened on the bridge. EastBayRI reports the accidents appear to be related to bridge construction. No injuries were reported. About an hour later, Portsmouth emergency officials were also called to a major motor vehicle crash on West Main Road at Stringham in Portsmouth. Further details about this crash are unknown at this time. Check back with Patch later today for updates on this developing story.
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…
The new sign will require lane closure overnight Thursday.
The Department of Transportation will install a sign overnight Thursday on the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The sign requires the closing of one lane, the right lane, on Route 24 south from the Sakonnet River Bridge to Exit 2 (Boyd's Lane). The lane will be closed overnight Thursday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. for this sign installation.
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 …
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Local legislators said they would continue efforts to repeal tolling on the Sakonnet River Bridge despite a RITBA decision establishing a toll rate structure today.
East Bay legislators said they are not giving up on efforts to block tolling on the Sakonnet River Bridge following Wednesday's decision by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to establish toll rates. Lawmakers and residents from East Bay communities have argued that a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge could discourage tourists and have significant impacts on the the local economy. "They are using the Sakonnet River Bridge as a cash cow for more than $20 million to be sucked out of our economy in the East Bay to support the [Newport] Pell and Mt. Hope bridges," said Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70 Portsmouth, Tiverton) in response to the the RITBA decision to move forward and establish a tolling rate on the Sakonnet River …
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority voted to establish tolling rates today the Sakonnet River Bridge.
Tolls are expected to be in place on the Sakonnet River Bridge by July, said the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority chairman after the the board established toll rates this morning. Drivers with a Rhode Island E-Z Pass transponder will pay 75 cents to cross the Sakonnet River. Drivers with out-of-state transponders will pay $3.75 per trip and travelers without an E-Z Pass transponder will be billed $5.25 per trip. "For the first time we will be offering a discount for people driving back and forth more than once a day," said David Darlington, RITBA chairman in an interview after the RITBA meeting in Jamestown on Wednesday. For local drivers, regardless of the number of trips over the Sakonnet River Bridge in a single day, the …