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Bridge Tolls About To Increase On Two Spans Across Delaware River

By David Madden

PALMYRA, N.J. (CBS) -- Tolls are likely to be going up next month on two bridges that cross the Delaware River into Pennsylvania from Burlington County.

Seventy-seven thousand passenger cars a day use the Tacony-Palmyra and Burlington-Bristol Bridges, both of which were built more than 80 years ago.

And they need a lot of work.

"We've identified six critical projects which are going to cost the Commission over the next five years about $110-million," John Comegno, chairman of the Burlington County Bridge Commission told KYW Newsradio, "and, quite frankly, our toll revenue will not support those projects at our current toll rates."

So the commission will consider the first toll hike in 15 years when it meets on August 12th.

The proposal will take cash tolls for passenger vehicles, motorcycles and light trucks from two dollars to four dollars. But for EZPass users, that toll would be three dollars. Comegno hopes to increase the number of EZPass drivers, which now constitute about half of those that use the two spans.

burlington-bristol bridge
Burlington-Bristol Bridge (credit: Burlington County Bridge Commission

There would also be increases, ranging from a dollar and a half to nine dollars, for larger vehicles. Public hearings are set Monday night at the commission offices in Palmyra and Tuesday night at the commission's maintenance building in Burlington City. Both sessions start at 6 PM.

The additional money would fund re-decking on the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, re-painting both spans and toll plazas and upgrading safety systems. There would also be electrical work on the Tacony-Palmyra, and a $9.25 million upgrade to the Riverside-Delanco Bridge over the Rancocas Creek. That's one of six toll free spans in Burlington County operated by the commission.

By comparison, the cash toll on all four bridges operated by the Delaware River Port Authority stands at five dollars. All the bridges charge crossing from New Jersey into Pennsylvania. The ride into the Garden State is toll free.

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