Federal agency OKs plan to put toll on RI bridge

Federal transportation officials have given Rhode Island the go-ahead to charge drivers crossing the new Sakonnet River Bridge.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that the Federal Highway Administration has approved tolls, set to begin in July.

The state intends to charge 75 cents for drivers with in-state EZPass transponders, $3.75 for those with out-of-state transponders and $5.25 for motorists without a transponder.

Many local residents and business owners have complained that the tolls would pose a financial burden to commuters and discourage tourists from visiting Aquidneck Island. State lawmakers plan to review legislation on Thursday that would prevent the tolls.