transportation

Newport bridge tolls to double in Sept.

PBN FILE PHOTO / MARY LAUZON
CROSSING THE PELL BRIDGE will cost $4 starting next month for drivers who pay cash or use out-of-state E-ZPasses. Rhode Island E-ZPass holders will continue to pay 83 cents.
Posted 8/12/09

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Turnpike and Bridge Authority voted this morning to double the cost of crossing the Pell Bridge between Newport and Jamestown for those paying cash and for some out-of-staters, The Associated Press reported.

The toll for a car will double from $2 to $4 when paid by cash or by drivers who purchased an automated E-ZPass toll-collection device outside Rhode Island. The cash toll for trucks will rise to $2 an axle. Holders of Rhode Island-purchased E-ZPasses will continue to pay 83 cents to cross the bridge.

The Turnpike and Bridge Authority, which oversees both the Pell and the Mount Hope Bridge between Bristol and Portsmouth, voted 3-1 to approve the increase, a spokeswoman told the AP.

The increase, which will take effect next month, is the first since the bridge opened in June 1969. It is expected to raise an additional $5.5 million in annual revenue for the upkeep of the two bridges.

The authority has been considering a toll increase ever since a report issued a year and a half ago forecast a $223 million budget shortfall for the agency over the next two decades.

That amount has since grown, David Darlington, the authority’s chairman, told Providence Business News earlier this month. A 10-year maintenance plan recently concluded that the authority will need to perform about $210 million of repairs over the next 10 years alone.

Additional information is available at RITBA.org.

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