Sunday, January 15, 2012
For tolls to be established, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority would need the General Assembly to pass enabling legislation, and a trio of legislators are vehemently opposed to any such bill.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr. (Bristol, Portsmouth), Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Tiverton, Portsmouth) and Sen. Walter S. Felag Jr. (D-Warren, Bristol, Tiverton) are introducing bills aimed at preventing the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority from instituting tolls on the Mount Hope and Sakonnet River bridges. In a press release Friday, the legislators said they want to send a message to the Turnpike and Bridge Authority that any request it may make for tolls on those bridges is going to be met with stiff opposition in the General Assembly. “We’ve said time and time again that the Turnpike and Bridge Authority isn’t going to hold the people of the East Bay and Aquidneck Island hostage. If they try to put in these tolls, we will fight …
Monday, October 10, 2011
Prudence Island residents share how they feel about the proposed toll for the Mount Hope Bridge.
Prudence Island resident Valerie Bachini travels on ferry, over water and over the Mount Hope Bridge five days a week just to take her children to public school in Portsmouth. If a new toll were placed on the Mount Hope Bridge, the mother of two says it would be more than an inconvenience for her. "I'm against it," Bachini said Friday while riding the Prudence Island Ferry back home. Bachini's two young children both attend Melville Elementary School in Portsmouth. The town covers the costs for the ferry and Bachini says the proposed toll is not "a lot of money." But would Prudence Island residents be responsible for paying it to get to town? Prudence Island residents are, in fact, Portsmouth residents. Prudence Island inhabitants pay a …
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Laura Mello of Mello's Farm Stand says she's concerned about a loss of business if tolls are approved for Mount Hope Bridge.
The owner of a small, family-run farm stand says her small business will be impacted dramatically if tolls are enacted on the Mount Hope Bridge. Mello's Farm Stand is located on Boyd's Lane, just off Bristol Ferry Road and less than a half mile from the Mount Hope Bridge. The small, family-operated farm stand receives business from customers who reside both on island and off, including residents of Bristol and Tiverton. Mello's Farm Stand co-owner Laura Mello talks about the impact tolls would have on her business in the video featured above. The farm stand, which is open seasonally from July 4 to Oct. 31, not only depends on the Mount Hope Bridge and Sakonnet River Bridge for customers, but also to deliver its produce. The farm stand's…
Friday, October 7, 2011
Some Newport County residents believe it's time for Mount Hope drivers to pay their share.
During a public hearing at Portsmouth High School Thursday evening, residents weighed-in on a proposal by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to re-introduce tolls to the Mount Hope Bridge. The tolls are being considered to help cover a $63 million shortage of money needed to maintain the Mount Hope and Newport Pell bridges for the next decade. The alternative solution would be to raise the toll rates at the Pell Bridge. State Sen. Christopher S. Ottiano (R-Dist. 11, Bristol, Portsmouth), who attended the hearing, said he is opposed to the Mount Hope Bridge toll. “We all use all of these bridges,” Ottiano said. The idea that someone in one town uses something and someone else is paying for it, is a-la-carte taxation.” Since …
Jacobs Engineering on Thursday presented background on the financial study behind the Mount Hope Bridge toll proposal.
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) on Thursday continued its discussion with the public about proposed tolls on the Mount Hope Bridge. The proposal, RITBA says, would close a $63 million budget shortfall created by capital improvement projects required over the next 10 years. During the hearing at Portsmouth High School, Rick Gobeille from Jacobs Engineering Group (Jacobs), the consulting company retained by RITBA to conduct a feasibility study, presented the background of the problem. In the 1960s, RITBA implemented a toll of 30 cents for passenger vehicles and 10 cents for commuters. This toll schedule was in place until May 1, 1998, when tolls were removed on the Mount Hope Bridge. Gobeille said a primary factor in …
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Bill Clark, business director, says tolls would create "a burden on commuting employees."
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I am unable to attend this evenings hearing in Portsmouth on tolls for the Mt. Hope Bridge. I voice a strong disapproval of placing new tolls on the bridge. By far the majority of the traffic on the bridge is related to commuters to and from work and business related travel (55% + 8%). Aquidneck Island has been and will no doubt always be a daily importer of employees. This places a burden on commuting employees and adds to difficulties employers face in hiring. It adds to the costs of deliveries of materials and supplies. We are especially sensitive to the issues it creates for our valuable business base of marine companies (43 marine companies in Portsmouth) and defense (Raytheon and sub-contractors) and tech related (Portsmouth …
According to a Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority plan, out-of-state drivers would pay $2.50 to cross the Mt. Hope Bridge.
If you use an EZ Pass to cross the Mt. Hope Bridge, it could cost you 52 cents per trip soon. If you don't, it could cost you $3.25 per trip soon. Those are the options on the table, as revealed during a public hearing Wednesday night atJacky's Galaxie restaurant in Bristol. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authorityhosted a public forum to answer questions and hear from people upset by the idea of paying money to cross Narragansett Bay between Bristol and Portsmouth. Turnpike and bridge authority board Chairman David Darlington reassured residents that the board "has not made a decision about retolling the Mt. Hope Bridge." However, he did admit that tolls, whether they are collected on the Mt. Hope Bridge or the Pell Bridge in …
Thursday, September 15, 2011
How much are you willing to pay to cross the Mount Hope Bridge?
On Wednesday, the board of directors of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) discussed the need to increase tolls on the Newport Pell Bridge to keep up with maintenance on both Pell and Mount Hope Bridges. One of the scenarios discussed was reinstating tolling on the Mount Hope Bridge. Chairman David Darlington said that the board has a responsibility to look at all fair options, and stressed that the board would take absolutely no action on re-tolling with first seeking input from the public. “We want to schedule public meetings, as we said we would do, to gather public input about re-tolling the Mount Hope Bridge and to discuss the formal traffic-and-revenue study. If we reach the conclusion that re-tolling Mount Hope…
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Board to hold public meetings in October to seek public input about adding tolls to the Mount Hope Bridge.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
In keeping with its policy to regularly review toll rates, the board of directors of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) today engaged in a discussion about the need to increase tolls on the Newport Pell Bridge. “In 2009, RITBA held numerous public meetings to discuss the future of tolling on the Newport Pell and Mount Hope Bridges as well as to discuss the revenue and maintenance needs of both bridges,” said David A. Darlington, chairman. “Keeping the bridges safe is our highest priority and their regular maintenance is costly. By adopting a predictable and regular toll schedule, we ensure that we meet our obligation to provide sufficient revenue to support the operations, maintenance and capital improvement …
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The Mount Hope, Sakonnet River and Pell Bridge are all being inspected this evening following the 5.9 earthquake felt along the East Coast.
Rhode Island engineers and transportation officials are inspecting Portsmouth and Newport's main spans following the 5.9 earthquake that shook up the East Coast Tuesday afternoon. Sakonnet River Bridge Rhode Island Department of Transportation (DOT) spokesman Charles St. Martin says the DOT is inspecting all of the state's projects, including the Sakonnet River Bridge. "We are checking all of our projects," St. Martin said. St. Martin said he doesn't expect engineers and inspectors to find problems "given the minor magnitude of the earthquake." "At this minute (4 p.m.), we haven't found anything," he said. "We don't expect any problems." Inspectors checked the Sakonnet River Bridge project, late this afternoon. The Sakonnet River …