Monday, March 18, 2013
The Portsmouth Town Council president and town administrator sent the following letter to the Federal Highway Administration on Friday.
Town Council President Jim Seveney and Town Administrator John Klimm sent the following letter to the Federal Highway Administration on Friday. The letter questions the "legality" of bridge tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The entire letter is published verbatim at right. What do you think about the letter? Tell us in the comment section below.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
DOT plans to begin tolling on the Sakonnet River Bridge this summer are stalled, pending federal approval.
Wednesday, March 13
Plans to install tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge still await federal approval, despite comments by state Department of Transportation (DOT) 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. …
Monday, February 25, 2013
Just because the weather has made the fight quiet, do not think the fight does not carry on.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Four East Bay representatives are seeking federal hearings on state plans to institute tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
Four East Bay representatives are seeking federal hearings on state plans to institute tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, according to a State House press release. Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth), Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), Rep. Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) and Rep. Linda Finn (D-Dist. 72, Middletown, Portsmouth) sent a letter recently to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood seeking hearings by the Federal Highway Administration on the plan for tolls. “Public hearings were previously conducted by [the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority] concerning the proposed tolls. However, it is …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Tiverton's legislators told the Town Council on Monday that any plans to subvert tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge would need to fill a $17 million funding gap.
Tiverton's legislative delegation told the Town Council on Monday that any efforts to undermine the the placement of tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge would need to address a $17 million annual funding shortfall. According to Sen. Louis P. DiPalma, to maintain Newport County's four bridges - the Newport Pell Bridge, Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, Mt. Hope Bridge, and the Sakonnet - will cost the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) $38 million annually over the next 10 years. Effectively, the revenues from a Sakonnet River Bridge toll would do more to pay for maintenance projects on the RITBA's other older bridges, as the Sakonnet River Bridge is a state-of-the-art new construction, said Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. Dist. 70…
Friday, January 25, 2013
The legislation would also transfer Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority board membership to Newport County elected officials.
Three Rhode Island legislators are sponsoring legislation that would block the placement of tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge, according to a State House press release Friday. Rep. John G. Edwards (D – Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton) and Senators Walter S. Felag Jr. and Louis P. DiPalma are sponsoring legislation that would effectively stand in the way of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) placing a toll on the bridge, which connects Portsmouth and Tiverton. Rep. Edwards sponsored the first House bill (2013-H 5137), repealing Article 20 of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget. The legislation would prevent the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (DOT) from turning control of the Sakonnet River and Jamestown …
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The CEO of Newport Grand Slots weighs in on the bridge toll proposal.
Plans to place bridge tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge could end up in a huge loss in gambling revenues for the state, says the Newport Grand slot parlor's chief executive officer. Newport Grand CEO Diane Hurley tells The Newport Daily News that bridge tolls would cost the state a maximum of $16 million in gambling revenues. Bridge tolls could be in place as early as this summer, according to The Providence Journal. Do you agree with Hurley? Tell us in the comment section below! Local and state politicians have been fighting plans to place tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The Department of Transportation (DOT) held public hearings in Tiverton and Portsmouth last month. Residents are asked to submit their opinion on tolls …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
The DOT will accept written testimonials on the impact of a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge by the deadline on Jan. 18.
The following is based on a press release from the state Department of Transportation. Residents must submit personal statements to the state Department of Transportation (DOT) on how a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge would impact their lives by Jan. 18. All comments will be included the DOT's environmental impact survey to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Ultimately, the FHWA will rule on whether a toll can be installed on the Sakonnet River Bridge, based upon the findings of the environmental and economic impact statements. According to DOT Director Michael P. Lewis, the reports will be filed with the FHWA by the end of the month. In December, the DOT held hearings in Portsmouth and Tiverton to hear residents concerns on the …
Thursday, December 6, 2012
The state Department of Transportation Director Michael P. Lewis cut off Tuesday's toll hearing in Tiverton just after midnight, directing residents who did not get to speak to submit written comments.
Director Michael P. Lewis of the state Department of Transportation (DOT) ended Tuesday's toll hearing just after midnight, cutting off commentary from several speakers. The five-hour public hearing featured a steady line of residents, all but one who were in opposition to the placement of a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge. The informational public hearing was conducted as part of the DOT's evaluation of the environmental impact a toll would have on the community, businesses and surrounding infrastructure and will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) by the end of January 2013. "The meeting was advertised until 10 p.m. and the meeting the night before ended around 10:30 or 10:45 p.m.," said Charles St. Martin, an …
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 …