Rhode Island passes bill banning bridge tolls

| Tuesday, June 11, 2002

The Rhode Island House approved legislation last week outlawing tolls or fees on the Sakonnet Bridge. Tolls would have helped pay for future repairs or replacement of the bridge.

Built in the 1950s, about 40,000 vehicles cross the State Highway 24 bridge daily that connects southeast Massachusetts to Newport, RI. In need of repair, the state Transportation Department has recommended paying for the work through tolls.

"I acknowledge that replacing or repairing the Sakonnet River Bridge is a necessary and costly project," the bill's sponsor, Rep. Raymond Gallison Jr., said in a released statement, "but that alone is not a justifiable reason to charge a toll." H6973 is awaiting assignment to the Senate calendar.

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