The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) today announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Revised Record of Decision (RROD) approving the addition of an All Electronic Toll Collection (AETC) for the new Sakonnet Bridge. The RROD concurs with RIDOT's Final Environmental Impact Statement that the imposition of tolls on the bridge does not create any new significant environmental impacts.
FHWA recommended the following measures to enhance the overall effects of the addition of tolls to the bridge:
• Monitor traffic diversion once tolls are implemented for a period of five years and provide an annual report on traffic volumes, estimated diversion rates and effects on low-income and minority communities;
• Develop a process to mitigate impacts of the toll to the Little Compton School Department which buses students over the bridge to Portsmouth High School; and
• Require a fare structure that addresses the accumulated cost of repeated, daily trips over the bridge.
RIDOT and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) anticipate toll implementation this summer. RITBA recently approved a toll schedule of $.75 for vehicles with transponders issued by RITBA, including out-of-state residents. It further approved an unlimited number of trips per calendar day after motorists pay for one round-trip crossing.
Contact: Rose Amoros 401-222-1362, Ext. 4450