|The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) operates and maintains the Mount Hope Bridge, the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, Route 138 through Jamestown, the Newport Pell Bridge and the Sakonnet River Bridge. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority was created in 1954 by the Rhode Island General Assembly as a body corporate and politic, with powers to construct, acquire, maintain, and operate bridge projects as defined by law. The Authority first operated and maintained the Mount Hope Bridge which connects Aquidneck Island at Portsmouth to Bristol. The Authority was then tasked with the construction of the Claiborne Pell/Newport Bridge connecting Jamestown to Newport. This was opened to traffic on June 28, 1969, and both have been operated and maintained by the Authority ever since. The Authority acquired control of the Sakonnet River Bridge, the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge and the 138 highway connector in 2013. Up until then, these two bridges and roadways were owned and operated by the State of Rhode Island.