Edwards Says Sakonnet Tolls Will Hurt More Than They'll Help

Jun 12, 2013

Rep. John Edwards of Tiverton is proposing legislation that will provide an alternative to tolls to pay for bridge maintenance.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

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.