Toll collection on Sakonnet Bridge to end Friday

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority said toll collection on the Sakonnet River Bridge will end at noon Friday.

The state budget signed into law Thursday by Gov. Lincoln Chafee eliminates the toll.

The authority spent up to $5 million installing all-electronic collection equipment on the bridge for the 10-cent toll. RITBA's acting chairman said the board will look at options for selling or reusing the equipment.

The authority began collecting the 10-cent toll in August as a placeholder while the state worked on alternative ways to pay for bridge maintenance.

The new budget establishes a 1-cent gas tax effective July 1, 2015, to help fund bridge and other infrastructure projects. RITBA will also receive additional revenue from the state's existing gasoline tax.