Residents and merchants in the East Bay are sharply opposing tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge. Local lawmakers have joined them in asserting the tolls will hurt the economy in communities near the bridge.
The House Finance Committee offered an initial hearing Tuesday for an alternative proposal for funding bridge maintenance. It would eliminate the tolls and use higher vehicle inspection fees and other sources to pay for keeping up bridges. One of the co-sponsors of the bill, state Representative John Edwards of Tiverton, sat down to explain why he considers this legislation a better approach.