tolls may decrease by as much as 25 cents per axle on bridges over
the Delaware River under a plan being floated in New Jersey and
Pennsylvania, The Trenton Times reported Aug. 27.
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. In some cases, tolls will increase 300
percent. On five of the bridges, The Intelligencer reported,
five-axle truck tolls went from $4 to $11.25.
outlets reported Aug. 25 that Gov. James McGreevey of New Jersey
and Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania were working out the details
of a deal that would reduce the tolls.
an aide for New Jersey Assemblyman Guy Gregg, R-Washington Township,
The Times reported that the governors’ talks were working toward
a cut of 75 cents for cars and the 25-cent per axle figure for trucks.
Kristi Petrides, Gregg’s aide, told the newspaper the 25-cent reduction
was not enough. The figure would only cut $1.25 out of the $7.25
increase many trucks are paying.
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.