TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI)- Tiverton residents came out in full force to offer their opinions on a controversial toll proposal.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation held the second of their public hearings on the proposed tolls to the Sakonnet River Bridge Tuesday night.
RIDOT officials say the public's opinions will be taken into consideration as the agency works to finalize its environmental impact statement that will be given to the Federal Highway Administration for approval.
Officials say tolling the bridge is necessary since the state needs the money to maintain it along with the Jamestown, Newport and Mount Hope Bridges.
Some residents say tolling a bridge sends the wrong message.
"When you put a toll on a bridge, it now becomes a barrier. Its telling people you can not come over this bridge unless you have the necessary funds", said Sen. Walter Felag (D).
The General Assembly has already passed legislation allowing RIDOT to transfer ownership of the Sakonnet and Jamestown Bridges to the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, which has the authority to impose tolls.
If the Federal Highway Administration approves the toll, it will go into effect this summer.
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