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Rep. Dan Reilly Opposes Tolls on New Sakonnet River Bridge

The freshmen representative is seeking to eliminate a call to transfer the bridge's ownership.

The following is from a State House press release. 

STATE HOUSE – Saying in Article 20 of the Governor’s budget represents an unfair burden on Aquidneck Island and is poorly designed, Rep. Daniel P. Reilly (R-Dist. 72 Portsmouth, Middletown, Newport) is calling for the toll proposal to be removed. 

Included in the FY 2013 budget that is to be considered by the General Assembly in the coming weeks is a proposal to have  and the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridges, which are currently owned and maintained by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT). 

This proposal authorizes the RITBA to implement a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge, and as the entity with sole responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the bridges under its control, would have absolute control over funds collected.

“I am opposed to the implementation of any tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge,” said Rep. Reilly.  “Worse still is the idea of empowering the RITBA to put tolls on the Bridge and assume complete responsibility for it and not even allow the affected communities to be adequately represented. The RITBA will have complete control over a vital piece of the East Bay infrastructure, power to establish, collect, and spend toll revenue, and fundamental fairness requires that the affected communities be represented and receive at least one appointment to RITBA. This proposal is flawed and inequitable and it should be withdrawn.”

The full text of Article 20 and the FY 2013 appropriations act is available athttp://www.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText12/HouseText12/H7323.pdf.

For more information regarding the RITBA, please visit http://www.ritba.org/.

Mark D May 02, 2012 at 05:47 PM
The problem that I have with all these politicians coming out against the toll and the transfer is that not one of them has a solution as to how to pay for the maintenance of this new bridge. Here are a few facts that all us that live in Portsmouth know, our roads are falling apart. West main road from headily to the Melville school is almost unridable in the right hand lane. East Main rd is way to narrow and also needs to be resurfaced from town hall to St. Barnabas. Anthony rd well forget about it that road is totally screwed. This state doesn't have the money to maintain these surface roads. Surface roads are much cheaper to maintain than bridges, so how are we going to pay for this new bridges maintenance. Right now almost all the money collected from the gas tax goes to service the debt on all the transportation bonds we have issued over the years. The funds we are getting from the federal gov't are not getting bigger they are getting smaller. The federal gas tax hasn't change since 1994. Yet the cost of infrastructure maintenance has gone way up, plus the amount of gas we consume has has gone down. It is so easy to say no, but a whole lot harder to come up with a genuine idea to a real problem.
WashaShore May 03, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Dan Reilly opposes tolls with no plan to pay for the bridge... 3 weeks ago he was trying to force women to submit to state mandated ultra sounds... What's next Dan??

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