Rhode Island bill bans bridge tolls

| 4/11/2003

A Rhode Island House committee is reviewing legislation that would outlaw tolls or fees on the Sakonnet Bridge.

Built in the 1950s, about 40,000 vehicles daily cross the state Highway 24 bridge, which connects southeast Massachusetts to Newport, RI, the Sakonnet Times reported. The bridge is in need of repair, and the state Transportation Department has recommended paying for the work through tolls.

H5041, introduced by Rep. Raymond Gallison Jr., D-Bristol, would specifically prohibit tolls or fees whether a new bridge is constructed or major repairs to the existing bridge take place.

The legislation would also require General Assembly approval for any transfer of the bridge to the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority.