Pennsylvania congressman asks governor to block bridge toll increases

| 9/6/2002

Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA) spoke out against the toll increases on seven bridges connecting Pennsylvania to New Jersey, according to published reports.

In a press conference Aug. 22 at Delaware Water Gap, PA, he challenged Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker to take action against the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission's toll increases. Because the governor appoints commission members from Pennsylvania, Kanjorski says the governor "can and should intervene before these massive toll increases can take effect."

In December the commission approved the toll hikes, which include a 300 percent increase for some trucks. Although the July effective date was delayed for the installation of the E-ZPass system, the increases could take effect in November at the earliest.

Once the rate hike goes into effect, per-axle tolls on trucks crossing the Trenton-Morrisville Bridge will increase (quadruple) from 50 cents to $2.25 for 2002 and 2003. Per-axle costs on the New Hope-Lambertville (Route 202), I-78, Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22), Portland-Columbia, Delaware Water Gap and I-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 new rates will fund a 10-year, $545 million maintenance plan for the seven toll bridges and 13 free bridges DRJTBC maintains and operates.