Live cash toll lanes return to the Delaware Memorial Bridge in time for the unofficial start of summer.
The Delaware River and Bay Authority resumes live collections on the bridge Thursday just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
DRBA shut down the live lanes March 26th to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Tolls were collected by E-ZPass or a temporary toll-by-mail process. DRBA Spokesperson Jim Salmon said safety precautions are in place once those lanes reopen.
“All of our toll collectors will be required to wear a mask and gloves while collecting cash tolls,” Salmon said. “We have also supplied our collectors with face shields and have installed protective Plexiglas and sneeze guards in all of our cash booths.”
Salmon adds toll booths were sanitized over the last two months and shifts will be staggered to limit interactions. He encourages drivers to wear face masks when passing through the toll lanes.
Bridge traffic has dropped substantially during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s down about 25 percent from this time last year. Salmon said the corresponding drop in revenue could impact their budget.
“It’s a big issue with respect to what we can finance with construction projects and what we’re able to do operationally,” Salmon said. “There’s examinations being done right now as to what the budget impacts are going to be.”
Bridge traffic reached record setting levels the first two months of the year before seeing drops of 24 percent in March and 64 percent in April compared to the same months in 2019.
Salmon expects it will pick up over the next few months. He said DRBA is already seeing an uptick in the first two weeks of May.