Wednesday, December 5, 2012
There was no lack of audience at the second in a pair of public hearings on the Sakonnet River Bridge toll by the state Department of Transportation in Tiverton on Tuesday night.
Hundreds of residents packed Tiverton High School auditorium, hoping to be heard at the second Sakonnet Bridge toll hearing on Tuesday night. Michael P. Lewis, director of the Department of Transportation (DOT) opened the meeting at 7:02 p.m. and told residents he would provide an abridged presentation explaining the agency's revenue problems. "It is not lost on me that this is not a popular proposal, but we are going to talk about the reasons why this is being considered," said Lewis. "The background on how transportation is funded in state, the history of the [state] Turnpike and Bridge Authority and what is this toll that is being proposed." "Most importantly this is a public hearing opportunity for us at RIDOT to hear from you on the …
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The construction of an open road tolling system on the new Sakonnet River Bridge will cost $2 million, says Chairman David Darlington. This cost will be a determining factor on the set price for tolls.
Despite opposition from residents and East Bay state legislators, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority announced Friday they intend to bring tolls to the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The decision followed the General Assembly's approval of a plan in the governor's budget to transfer the bridge's ownership. The budget was signed into law Friday. So where does this ownership transfer go from here? What will be the cost for the new toll? Bridge maintenance costs to determine toll price David Darlington, chairman of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, said three key studies will need to be performed before the toll price can be determined: a Toll and Revenue Study (traffic study), Environmental Impact Study and Cost of …
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Rep. Dan Reilly writes about why he opposes tolls on the island.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Rep. Dan Reilly. Of all of the controversial proposals in the governor’s budget request, the one by far most dangerous to the economy of the Aquidneck Island community is to place tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge when the new span opens. This proposal is not only unfair, but also puts unnecessary pressure on our local economy and residents, while doing nothing to change the structural funding imbalance inherent in our state transportation budget. The Department of Transportation wants to create the “East Bay Infrastructure Fund,” with all revenue from the bridge tolls deposited into after the debt service and expenses from the bridge are covered. This would be a discretionary funding …
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The bill would place the new Turnpike and Bridge Division under the direction of an assistant director at DOT.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The Rhode Island General Assembly recently announced a new piece of legislation introduced by Rep. Richard Morrison. The bill would essentially dissolve the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority and move all of its projects to be handled by a division of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. The following is the official release from the Rhode Island General Assembly: If shrinking government and making it more efficient can save taxpayer money, Rep. Richard P. Morrison (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren) has a suggestion about where to start. He has introduced legislation that will dissolve the quasi-public Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, moving all its duties and functions to the RI Department of Transportation in a …
Friday, December 30, 2011
AAA has launched a pilot program with the bridge authority.
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority's office near the Newport Bridge is now not the only place you can purchase an E-ZPass. AAA has announced a new pilot program with RITBA, whereby all of its Rhode Island branches will now sell the E-ZPass transponders. They can be purchased for $20.95, plus the initial load amount. AAA Members will receive a $2 credit towards their toll balance just by signing up for a new E-ZPass account at one of the participating AAA Offices. Eligible vehicles include those that are two axle, 4-tire individually owned/leased vehicles, 7,000 pounds max gross weight, including pickups and RVs with dual rear tires and motorcycles. Anyone driving one of the following vehicles must still purchase the E-ZPass at …
Thursday, October 6, 2011
The meetings follow two this week in Bristol and Portsmouth.
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) announced today that it will hold two additional public hearings this month to continue its conversation with the public about its revenue needs and tolling options. RITBA held its first session Wednesday night in Bristol, where approximately 100 residents came out, many to express displeasure with a proposal to add tolling back to the Mt. Hope Bridge. Another session is being held tonight at 7 p.m. at Portsmouth High School. The additional meetings will be at the following locations: At the Bristol meeting last night, RITBA Chairman David Darlington discussed the reality that the tolls on the Pell Bridge are the authority's only source of revenue. According to Darlington, they don't …
Friday, August 26, 2011
State officials will close down both the Newport (Pell) and Jamestown bridges if wind speeds top 70 mph.
The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency announced it will close both the Jamestown and Pell (Newport) bridges when wind speeds hit 70 mph, which is expected as early as Saturday night or Sunday morning. Rhode Island is now under a hurricane warning as of 5 p.m. today. The National Weather Service has changed the forecast status from watch to warning as Hurricane Irene draws closer to southern New England. Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven O'Donnell is asking all residents remain off the roads during the storm as well.