RI town turns to US senators in bridge toll flap

Sakonnet River Bridge tolls

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (AP) — Portsmouth town officials are asking Rhode Island’s two U.S. senators for help in their efforts to abolish a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge.

Town officials say they’re frustrated that the Federal Highway Administration refused to respond to a letter they sent a year ago, before the 10-cent toll was approved, questioning the legality of the charge. The bridge connects Portsmouth and Tiverton.

Officials told The Newport Daily News they sent the letter to the highway agency on March 15, 2013. But they say the agency didn’t respond before approving a request by the state Department of Transportation to change a 2003 federal decision prohibiting a toll on the bridge.

Town officials are urging Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse to intervene and offer whatever help they can.

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