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Sakonnet River Bridge

Sakonnet River Bridge
The new Sakonnet River Bridge alongside the remaining pillars of the old bridge.
Coordinates41°38′17″N 71°12′50″W / 41.6381°N 71.2140°W / 41.6381; -71.2140 (Sakonnet River Bridge)
Carries Route 24 / Route 138
CrossesSakonnet River
Localebetween Portsmouth and Tiverton
Designtruss bridge (1st)
Box girder bridge (2nd)
Opened1956 (1st bridge), 2012 (2nd bridge)
Closed2012 (1st bridge)

Sakonnet River Bridge is a four-lane bridge spanning the Sakonnet River in eastern Rhode Island. The bridge carries RI 24 and RI 138 between the communities of Portsmouth and Tiverton, Rhode Island. The current bridge is a box girder bridge that opened in 2012 at a cost of $120 million (USD). The previous bridge was a truss bridge that was built in 1956 and demolished in 2012 due to structural deficiencies. The truss bridge had previously served as a replacement for the Stone Bridge, about 0.8 miles (1.3 km) to the south.

It became part of RI 24 during the 1960s after the completion of the Portsmouth and Tiverton Expressways. At one point, it was briefly considered for inclusion as part of the never-built Interstate 895. In October 2023, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced plans to remove the rest of the bridge, and have scheduled the project for 2026. The department started demolishing the bridge superstructure in 2018.[1]


In 2003, state officials declared there would be no tolls on the bridge. In 2012, governor Lincoln Chafee reversed this decision.[2]

In August 2013 after the opening of the new bridge, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority began collecting a 10-cent toll from drivers with an E-ZPass transponder using an open road tolling gantry. Those without E-ZPass were expected to call the Authority's office to arrange payment. The toll was imposed in order to keep open the future possibility of higher tolls due to a quirk in federal law.[3] From August 2013 to May 2014, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority collected a total of $677,570.

The toll was removed in June 2014 and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation stated in 2019 that they would not impose any tolls on the bridge in the future.[4] After the toll was removed, opponents asked for a refund of the collected tolls, and that all tolling equipment be dismantled.[5]


  1. ^ "Ask Alison: Will the old columns at the Sakonnet River Bridge be removed?". Retrieved 2023-12-17.
  2. ^ O'Connor, Kevin P. "Sakonnet River Bridge tolls are gone, but the fight goes on". Fall River Herald News. Retrieved 2022-07-29.
  3. ^ O'Connor, Kevin P. (August 19, 2013). "Tolls begin on Sakonnet River Bridge ... and most people are paying the 10 cents". The Herald News. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "RIDOT asks feds to rescind decision allowing Sakonnet bridge tolls". WJAR. April 3, 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  5. ^ O'Connor, Kevin P. "Sakonnet River Bridge tolls are gone, but the fight goes on". Fall River Herald News. Retrieved 2022-07-29.
  • Web site containing engineering impact documents for the replacement of the Sakonnet River Bridge.
  • Web site for Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority Sakonnet River Bridge Decorative Lighting requests.

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Sakonnet River Bridge
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