Tolls ruled out for Rhode Island bridge

| 4/17/2003

Construction of a new bridge over a Rhode Island river could start soon – and tolls are no longer a payment option, the Sakonnet Times reported.

The state Transportation Department wants to build a new bridge south of the existing state Highway 24 bridge in Sakonnet.

Built in the 1950s, the bridge connects southeast Massachusetts to Newport, RI. The bridge is in need of repair, and the department had recommended paying for the work through tolls.

“We're no longer considering tolls as a method for paying for a new bridge,” DOT director James R. Capaldi told the newspaper. Capaldi said there were other funding mechanisms that made much more sense than tolls.

The agency now intends to borrow in anticipation of federal highway dollars.

The final word on the bridge option awaits completion of an environmental impact statement.