My wife asked while we were on the Bourne Bridge recently why it cost so much to cross the Newport Pell Bridge in Rhode Island, yet the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges in Massachusetts are free.

I shushed her, because Maura Healey might be listening and get us on the way back.

When my son visited us from Virginia in August, we took him to Jamestown for a lobster lunch at JB's on the Water, a nice place with several patios overlooking the bay and the Newport Pell Bridge, more formally known as the Claiborne Pell/Newport Bridge, named after the late U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell.

Rhode Island Charges This Much To Cross The Newport Pell Bridge
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media

Jamestown is a quaint little town with a dark history tied directly to the slave trade. It's worth reading about. Just up the road are the historic Beavertail Lighthouse Museum and State Park. Definitely worth a visit.

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The Newport Pell Bridge opened in June 1969. The span connects Newport on Aquidneck Island to Jamestown on Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay.

The bridge is quite picturesque, especially at sunset. It is also unnecessarily expensive to cross.

Rhode Island Charges This Much To Cross The Newport Pell Bridge
Courtesy Aerial New England

I knew there was a toll when we crossed the bridge, but I was unaware of how much it was because when we had gone that way in the past, my wife was driving. It didn't matter, as we were crossing anyway.

A month later, I got a bill from the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority for $12. Non-residents pay $6 each way ($3 per axle). With an E-Z Pass, it's only $2 per axle. That's steep, no?

I knew Senator Pell. I'm not sure he'd approve.

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