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Special Forum on Bridge Funding, Tolls To Be Held Wednesday

A special forum on bridge funding will take place Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Common Fence Point Community Hall, 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth.

Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton) will hold an open house this Wednesday to discuss updates from the Special Legislative Commission to Study the Funding for East Bay Bridges and other local issues. 

The special forum will take place Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Common Fence Point Community Hall, 933 Anthony RoadPortsmouth. All residents of the East Bay are welcome to attend. 

“This is a chance for the people in both of the communities I represent to continue fruitful discussions about East Bay infrastructure and the work the commission has done thus far,” said Edwards, who serves as a member of the panel. 

“This is also an opportunity for my constituents to bring their biggest concerns to me before we enter a new legislative session at the State House in January. The bridge issue alone has made me realize how truly lucky I am to represent constituents who care so deeply about our community and recognize that we must all participate in democracy in order to create the best possible outcomes for everyone. 

"I look forward to seeing everyone next week and I strongly encourage all who are interested to attend.”

The East Bay bridge commission – co-chaired by Rep. Helio Melo (D-Dist. 64, East Providence) and Sen. Daniel Da Ponte (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) – was established during the 2013 legislative session to allow lawmakers and officials from affected state departments and agencies an opportunity to investigate various funding plans, potentially eliminating the need for tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly approved legislation to impose a 10-cent toll on the new Sakonnet River Bridge, which spans Portsmouth and Tiverton. 

Since the passage, area residents have led mass protests and E-ZPass boycotts in opposition to the tolls. 

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