on bridges over the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New
Jersey will go down soon, according to media reports.
James McGreevey of New Jersey and Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania
are working out the details of a deal that would reduce the recently
increased tolls. The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission
increased the tolls last November on seven bridges it maintains
between the two states. The tolls support maintenance on the total
20 bridges over the river operated by the commission.
some cases, tolls would have increased 300 percent. On five of the
bridges, The Intelligencer reported, five-axel truck tolls
went from $4 to $11.25. The increases have produced protests among
commuters and lawsuits from trucking organizations
Intelligencer said Aug. 25 that Rendell told legislators in
his state about the planned cuts during a conference call.
tolls became the subject of controversy earlier this year when local
media sources revealed that the increases would pay for things besides
bridge commission said the new rates were needed to help fund a
10-year, $526 million capital improvement plan for economic development.
However, The Trentonian reported in early March that a portion
of the toll hikes would pay 45 percent raises to the top three executives
of the bridge commission. Frank G. McCartney, executive director
of the commission, defended the pay hikes, telling the newspaper
the raises were designed to “retain talent” to help with the commission’s
plan to rehabilitate its bridges.
addition, The Allentown Morning Call reported earlier this
year the commission intended to use about $250 million from the
increases for unauthorized projects, including economic development
such as projects on waterfront property and airport work.
proposal would give most of the $250 million back to toll payers,
including truckers. He would like to keep $30 million of that for
bridge work. McGreevey, however, would like to keep $100 million
of the $250 million.