Toll hikes give bridge commission execs a lift, too

| 3/4/2003

It’s generally well known that truckers don’t like tolls, but many are willing to pay them knowing the money will help build, repair or maintain the highways and bridges they drive on.

But in New Jersey, truckers who recently faced toll hikes of up to 300 percent are paying some of the money to give the top three executives of the Delaware Bridge Commission a 45 percent raise, according to a local media report.

Frank G. McCartney, executive director of the commission, told The Trentonian newspaper the raises were designed to “retain talent” to help with the commission’s plan to rehabilitate its 20 toll and non-toll bridges.

Tolls for trucks and cars crossing bridges operated by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission jumped Nov. 30. Truckers’ tolls increased to $2.25 per axle.

A second round of planned hikes will cost truckers $3.25 per axle starting in January 2004.

The commission, which operates 20 bridges between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said the new rates would help fund a 10-year, $526 million maintenance plan.

According to The Trentonian, McCartney’s compensation has increased from $99,910 in 2000 to $135,545 this year. By 2006, he will be paid $145,343 annually. The salaries of Roger P. Sager and Frank J. Tollota, both deputy executive directors, will go from $92,700 to $137,917, up 48 percent. Jerry W. Fuqua, chief administrative officer, will see his salary of $106,090 increase to $137,917, a 30 percent hike.