River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has approved a plan to add
EZPass technology and hike tolls at seven bridges to pay for improvements
to bridges and for increased security since the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks. The cost to truckers crossing the bridges will more than
toll rate approved by the commission will fund a 10-year, $526-million
improvement plan for security upgrades, bridge maintenance and
modernization, management and enhancement of the 20 bridges DRJTBC
maintains and operates. The plan is scheduled to take effect in
conjunction with the availability of EZPass targeted for July
tolls on trucks crossing the Trenton-Morrisville bridge will increase
from 50 cents to $2.25 for 2002 and 2003. In 2004, tolls will
rise to $3.25. Per-axle costs on the New Hope-Lambertville (Route
202), Interstate 78, Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22), Portland-Columbia,
Delaware Water Gap and Interstate 80, and Milford-Montague bridges
will more than triple from $1 to $3.25. Cash tolls for cars will
double from 50 cents to $1 on four of the bridges and from $1
to $1.25 on the rest. The remaining 13 bridges within the DRJTBC
jurisdiction will remain "free bridge" status.
expects toll receipts to jump from the current $32 million in
tolls per year to $69 million in the first year of the increase.
They are expected to hit $105 million in the second year.