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Special Forum on Bridge Funding, Tolls To Be Held Wednesday

A special forum on bridge funding will take place Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Common Fence Point Community Hall, 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth.

Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton) will hold an open house this Wednesday to discuss updates from the Special Legislative Commission to Study the Funding for East Bay Bridges and other local issues. 

The special forum will take place Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Common Fence Point Community Hall, 933 Anthony RoadPortsmouth. All residents of the East Bay are welcome to attend. 

“This is a chance for the people in both of the communities I represent to continue fruitful discussions about East Bay infrastructure and the work the commission has done thus far,” said Edwards, who serves as a member of the panel. 

“This is also an opportunity for my constituents to bring their biggest concerns to me before we enter a new legislative session at the State House in January. The bridge issue alone has made me realize how truly lucky I am to represent constituents who care so deeply about our community and recognize that we must all participate in democracy in order to create the best possible outcomes for everyone. 

"I look forward to seeing everyone next week and I strongly encourage all who are interested to attend.”

The East Bay bridge commission – co-chaired by Rep. Helio Melo (D-Dist. 64, East Providence) and Sen. Daniel Da Ponte (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) – was established during the 2013 legislative session to allow lawmakers and officials from affected state departments and agencies an opportunity to investigate various funding plans, potentially eliminating the need for tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly approved legislation to impose a 10-cent toll on the new Sakonnet River Bridge, which spans Portsmouth and Tiverton. 

Since the passage, area residents have led mass protests and E-ZPass boycotts in opposition to the tolls. 

TAMORI December 08, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Maybe someone could initiate a discussion about getting the hideous blue and frequently non-functioning lights turned off for good. What an embarrassment that gaudy look is while the other two bridges onto the island have a classy, iconic appearance.
Robert E December 09, 2013 at 03:57 PM
How is RITBA going to maintain this bridge when they can't even get the lights to work properly.
FYI December 11, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Unfortunately I have a class (school) tonight & cannot attend but I hope someone can bring up these facts; 1. My previous EZPass Statements did not have any charges during the months of Aug, Sept, & Oct but in Nov they added the 10 cents from the very 1st day they opened the toll. (I was refusing to use my EZPass transponder.) Is this even legal?? 2. My spouse bought a transponder in June (never used it but has a separate account) but all the 10 cent transactions for both of our vehicles came out of my account. 3. The 1st day RITBA started the toll (on 8/19/13) it charged me for going over the bridge twice when I did not go over the bridge until later that week. 4. The transponder also did not work to bring me back over the bridge when I did go over the bridge. (This proves to me how unreliable this device truly is.) 5. The EZPass billing statement makes no sense and has mathematical errors on their document. (If they cannot correctly add 10 cents, I have zero confidence that they can manage any finances.) 6. The RI state license renewals, vehicle registrations, and inspection stickers all went up to counter act the Sakonnet River Bridge toll. (If you go to the Middletown DMV you will see a billboard which states part of this fact.) I give permission for someone to bring these facts up to the meeting tonight on my behalf. Thank you!

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