NJ governor stops planned toll increase on Delaware Memorial Bridge

David Madden
January 03, 2019 - 12:21 pm
Delaware Memorial Bridge

Delaware River and Bay Authority

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has vetoed a toll increase on the Delaware Memorial Bridge scheduled to take effect in March.

Murphy’s action came in the form of a two-page letter sent to the Delaware River and Bay Authority, which unanimously approved the hike from $4 to $5 last month, citing a need to improve infrastructure.

The governor said in the letter that he had told the board often that he opposed increasing tolls for anything other than “critical safety enhancements.” Yet the hike funds $440 million worth of work not only on the bridge, but for a pair of airports and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry

RELATED: Delaware Memorial Bridge toll increase unanimously approved

“Without the additional revenue that comes with the toll increase, many infrastructure investment projects, including some at the Delaware Memorial Bridge, will be delayed or postponed indefinitely until the resources necessary are available to fund them,” DRBA spokesman Jim Salmon said. 

He adds the toll hike is not dead yet.

“The authority’s leadership is committed to meeting its fiduciary responsibilities and resolving any misunderstandings associated with the toll resolution with open and honest dialogue,” he said.

Murphy suggests the DRBA revise its capital budget, since he does not intend for this veto to get in the way of the bridge repairs.

Delaware Gov. John Carney said in a statement, "The higher toll rate would help fund important infrastructure investments. So this latest setback is concerning. But I remain optimistic. My hope is that we can work with the DRBA, Governor Murphy and his team to come up with a solution."