Delaware Memorial Bridge Proposing $1 Toll Hike, $10 For Commercial Trucks

The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials announced today the schedule for two public hearings to discuss the goals and objectives of a proposed toll increase and detail the critical infrastructure investments required at the bi-state agency’s crossing facilities, the Delaware Memorial Bridge and Cape May – Lewes Ferry, according to DRBA Spokesman James Salmon.

Salmon said the proposed toll increase for passenger cars and small trucks would rise from $4 to $5 and the toll for commercial vehicles would jump from $5 per axle to $7 per axle.  Tractor-trailers having five axles would see an increase of $10.

“We are in the fifth year of a ten year complete overhaul of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which is dictated by its age, condition, operating environment and heavy volume of usage,” said DRBA Executive Director Tom Cook. “Among the components of this overhaul are a ship collision protection system, suspender rope (vertical cable) replacement, major steelwork repairs, paint removal and recoating and a bridge deck repair. All of these projects are necessary to ensure public safety and uninterrupted traffic flow.”

What: The DRBA will hold public hearings in Delaware and New Jersey to inform our stakeholders concerning the goals and objectives of a toll increase at the Delaware Memorial Bridge, detail vital capital infrastructure investments at the Authority’s aging and heavily utilized crossing facilities, provide information on the proposed new rate structure, and solicit public comment.

DE: On Wednesday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m., a public hearing will take place on the main floor of the Vincent A. Julia Center adjacent to the Delaware Memorial Bridge Toll Plaza, conjunction of I-295 and U.S. Route 9 in New Castle.

NJ: On Thursday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m., a second public hearing will take place at the Salem Community College Davidow Performing Arts Theatre located in Davidow Hall 460 Hollywood Ave in Carneys Point Township.

Why: Revenue projections are insufficient to provide borrowing capacity or cash revenue to fund necessary infrastructure investment projects. Based on the current toll structure at the Delaware Memorial Bridge, future revenues will be inadequate for the Authority to fund the essential capital infrastructure projects at the crossing facilities, which are expected to cost more than $440 million over the next five years said Salmon.

The following are some of the major capital projects planned at Delaware Memorial Bridge and Cape May – Lewes Ferry during the next several years: Bridge Paint Removal and Recoating ($48.2); Suspension Rope Replacement ($24.5 million); Bridge Steelwork Repairs ($40.5 million); Pin and Link Rehabilitation on Both Structures of DMB ($19.7 million); Ship Collision Protection System ($45.2 million); Bridge Deck Repair ($21.5 million); Transfer Bridge Repairs at the Cape May – Lewes Ferry ($4.3 million); and Ferry Repowering Program ($9.5 million).

When asked if the projects related to the ferry would be funded by the increased bridge tolls Salmon said that a fare hike at the Ferry will most likely be considered early next year.

Tentative implementation for the new toll rates is March 2019, said Salmon.

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