Public hearing slated on proposed Delaware Memorial Bridge toll increase

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Delaware River and Bay Authority officials announced the schedule for two public hearings on a proposed toll increase.

The hearings would also discuss “goals and objectives of a proposed toll increase and detail the critical infrastructure investments required at the bi-state agency’s crossing facilities, the Delaware Memorial Bridge and Cape May – Lewes Ferry,” a release stated.  

“We are in the fifth year of a ten year complete overhaul of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which is dictated by its age, condition, operating environment and heavy volume of usage,” said DRBA Executive Director Tom Cook.  “Among the components of this overhaul are a ship collision protection system, suspender rope (vertical cable) replacement, major steelwork repairs, paint removal and recoating and a bridge deck repair.  All of these projects are necessary to ensure public safety and uninterrupted traffic flow.”

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The Delaware hearing is slated for Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. on the main floor of the Vincent A. Julia Center adjacent to the Delaware Memorial Bridge Toll Plaza, conjunction of I-295 and U.S. Route 9 in New Castle.

The release went on to state that revenue will not be sufficient to pay for the costs maintaining the bridge, sections of which are approaching 68 years old, and the ferry system, which typically runs at a loss. 

 The following are some of the major capital projects planned at Delaware Memorial Bridge and Cape May – Lewes Ferry during the next several years:  Bridge Paint Removal and Recoating ($48.2); 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, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, and the Forts Ferry Crossing. The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers – two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities. For more information, visit www.drba.net.

 

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