Feds turn down offer to settle toll lawsuit

Sakonnet River Bridge tolls

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (AP) — Federal transportation officials have rejected an offer from the town of Portsmouth to settle the lawsuit filed over the ill-fated decision to impose tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.

Town Solicitor Kevin Gavin tells the Newport Daily News the town offered to drop its 2013 lawsuit alleging the tolls were illegal, if federal and state agencies would accept a permanent injunction banning future tolls on the bridge.

He says the Federal Highway Administration last week rejected the settlement proposal. He says the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority never responded to the offer.

Lawmakers last month eliminated the tolls.  A hearing is scheduled Friday before federal Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan, who is being asked to determine whether the lawsuit is now moot.

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