Delaware Gov. John Carney and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced a resolution related to the proposed Delaware Memorial Bridge toll rate increase, to fund necessary safety and infrastructure projects.
The new proposal will generate $32 million in increased annual toll revenue compared to the previous $34 million proposal.
The modified proposal includes:
— EZ-Pass discount for passenger car/small truck “home agency” users (New Jersey EZ-Pass or Delaware Department of Transportation account holders) of 25 cents off the $5 toll rate.
— Frequent traveler discount rate increases from $1.25 to $1.75. On Jan. 1, 2021, the rate increases to $2.25. Frequent traveler program is 20 trips in 90 calendar days.
— Delaware River and Bay Authority Five Year Capital Improvement Plan is amended from $423 million to $399 million.
— Implementation date deferred for two months from March 1 to May 1.
“Discussions on a path forward were positive and constructive and I’m pleased we were able to find common ground,” said Carney. “With additional revenue, the DRBA can now proceed with many vital infrastructure investments at Delaware Memorial Bridge and Cape May-Lewes Ferry that otherwise would have been delayed or postponed indefinitely. Thank you to Gov. Murphy for his willingness to work together to fund these important infrastructure investments.”
Carney noted that the additional toll revenue is now available to match the $22.3 million BUILD federal grant, the $6 million Federal Transit Administration Grant to Repower and Retrofit two ferry vessels, as well as numerous federal grants at the agency’s aviation facilities.
“I’m thrilled to have worked with Gov. Carney to generate this modified proposal that is more fair to commuters, and allows us to invest in the Delaware Memorial Bridge to keep it in good repair,” said Murphy. “This modified proposal allows us to ensure the safe passage of travelers from New Jersey and Delaware while addressing the commuting costs of our residents, critical goals shared by both states.”
Murphy added that the DRBA agreed to cancel or defer infrastructure projects that would be value-added to their operation, but not vital or essential for the particular facility. Most of these are at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.
With the additional revenue, the DRBA now has the resources to fund the following significant major capital projects planned at Delaware Memorial Bridge and Cape May-Lewes Ferry: bridge paint removal and recoating, $48.2 million; suspension rope replacement, $24.5 million; bridge steelwork repairs, $40.5 million; pin and link rehabilitation on both structures of DMB, $19.7 million; ship collision protection system, $45.2 million; bridge deck repair, $21.5 million; transfer bridge repairs at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, $4.3 million,; and Ferry Repowering Program, $9.5 million.
The DRBA Commission plans to vote on Resolution 19-01 — Delaware Memorial Bridge Revised Toll Schedule — at its board meeting on Feb. 20.