PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) -- The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) has organized two workshops for the public to learn more about the financial challenges in maintaining RI bridges, and the possibility of adding tolls to the Sakonnet River Bridge.
RIDOT's first workshop will be held at Portsmouth High School on December 3, while the second workshop will be held at Tiverton High School the following night, December 4.
At both meetings, it is encouraged that the public comment on the proposal. Public opinion will be considered as RIDOT finalizes their plans. Once finalized, these plans will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration for review early next year.
"We understand there are great concerns about introducing a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge," RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said in a statement. "We look forward to hearing from the public about issues of greatest concern to them and will work diligently to address them wherever possible."
All bridges need ongoing repairs and maintenance. Usage, time and the natural elements cause deterioration of the bridge. These issues need to be addressed in order to keep drivers safe.
A Sakonnet River Bridge toll would fund the maintenance and repairs for the state's four longest bridges: The Pell (Newport) Bridge, the Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge, the Mount Hope Bridge and the Sakonnet River Bridge.
For more information, visit the RIDOT's website or call RIDOT Customer Service at 401-222-2450.
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