It will be more expensive to use the Delaware Memorial Bridge starting next spring.
The Delaware River and Bay Authority is moving forward on a toll hike. The rate for passenger cars and trucks is rising from $4 to $5. Commercial vehicles will pay $2 more per axle.
The hike is projected to generate $34 million of additional annual revenue and cover the bi-state agency’s $440 million capital improvements plan.
Delaware River and Bay Authority spokesman Jim Salmon says this means maintenance work to the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and to the bridge itself.
“There’s major bridge painting removal and recoating, suspension rope replacement program, major bridge steelwork repairs over the next five years, pin and link rehabilitation and bridge deck repair,” said Salmon.
Public comment hearings were held in Delaware and New Jersey ahead of the toll hike and the proposal survived a ten-day review and consent period for the Delaware and New Jersey Governors.
“The public process was very valuable for us,” said Salmon. “We were able to gather some input and as a result, we made some adjustments to the original toll rate proposal that was set forth at those hearings.”
The changes brought on from public input included discounts for two-axle vehicles like RVs and additional discounts for frequent travelers. The two axel rate was reduced from $7 per axle to $6, and the frequent user fare was reduced from $2.50 per trip to $2. Also, the new proposal requires 22 trips per 30-day period instead of 25 to qualify for the frequent user discount.
Approximately 36 million vehicles travel across the Delaware Memorial Bridge each year. The last toll increase was in 2011. The new rate takes effect March 1st.