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State Proposes 52-Cent Toll to Cross Mt. Hope Bridge

According to a Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority plan, Rhode Islanders with an E-Z Pass would pay a toll of 52 cents, and out-of-state residents with E-Z Passes would pay $2.50. Anyone without an EZ Pass would be billed $3.25.

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 at  restaurant in Bristol.

A second public hearing will be held Thursday night at 7 p.m. at .

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority on Wednesday night hosted 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 Newport, are the authority's only sources of revenue to maintain the two bridges. And according to Darlington, they don't raise enough money from the Pell Bridge toll booths to maintain the two bridges for the next 10 years.

In the authority's proposal to bring tolls back to the Mt. Hope Bridge for the first time in years, "All Electronic Tolling" (AET) would be implemented, cutting out the need for toll booth workers. The toll system would rely entirely upon an elecontronic system like E-ZPass and cameras. According to Darlington, this would be a reasonable alternative to toll booths because it would not slow down traffic.

Rhode Island residents who hold an E-Z Pass would pay a toll of 52 cents, and out-of-state residents who hold an E-Z Pass would pay $2.50. Anyone traveling over the Mt. Hope Bridge who does not hold an EZ Pass would be sent a bill for $3.25 after a camera snaps a shot of the vehicle's license plate.

In all, Darlington said, the toll system would cost around $3.3 million for toll infrastructure and toll collection, and would bring in about $4.6 million per year in revenue – enough to cover bridge maintenence expenses.

At least 100 area residents showed up Wednesday in Bristol to hear Darlington speak about the proposal and to voice their questions and concerns. Stay tuned to Patch this morning for a full report on their views.

Second forum to be held tonight

A second public hearing will be held Thursday night at 7 p.m. at .

Cmsg October 06, 2011 at 05:02 PM
I live in Tiverton. So if I want to go to Bristol...I'm going to have to pay a toll to go over the new Sakonnet Bridge, and then another to go over the Mt. Hope....both ways?? are you kidding me? this state is beyond ridiculous.
Mary Martin October 06, 2011 at 07:24 PM
The toll on Mt Hope would depend on Sakonnet River bridge. Does not the law say there will be one FREE way to and from the island? They want tolls on Pell Bridge (which they have), toll on Mt Hope (no toll at present) and toll on the new Sakonnet River bridge (no toll at present). Seems just a little over kill!
MichAEL October 03, 2012 at 04:36 PM
You have to have one free way off ,thats the law........

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