Lawmaker proposes elimination of RI turnpike authority


A lawmaker says the state should eliminate the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to save money.

State Rep. Richard Morrison announced Wednesday that he’s crafted legislation to disband the authority and transfer its functions to the Department of Transportation.

Morrison, D-Bristol, said there’s no good reason to continue the authority when the state already has a DOT.

The RITBA is responsible for the management of the Pell Bridge between Newport and Jamestown and the Mount Hope Bridge between Bristol and Portsmouth.

There is no estimate for how much the state could save by eliminating the authority. Morrison said the savings could be sufficient to prevent the need for proposed bridge toll increases.

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