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Margate bridge toll increase announced

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It will cost a little more to travel over the Margate Causeway this summer.

The stretch that is now named the Downbeach Express will see an increase of a quarter for cash customers and 20 cents for those who purchase the Express Pass.

"This adjustment is essential to cover the high costs of maintaining our four historic bridges and the extensive roadway which spans more than two miles," explained Jennifer Hansen, president of Ole Hansen and Sons, the longtime managing partner of the Margate Bridge Company.

The four bridges along the span that connects Margate to Egg Harbor Township are nearly 95 years old "and require continuous and diligent upkeep," Hansen said.

"Our bridges undergo rigorous inspections every two years," she added. "We take our responsibility very serious. This ongoing investment includes recent extensive repairs and maintenance, ensuring our patrons travel safely and comfortably."

The "significant maintenance" was done to proactively address any necessary repairs and updates that would be necessary under the state Department of Transportation's new in-depth reporting guidelines, Hansen said.

Beginning June 17, cash customers will pay $2.50 each way to cross. Thos with the Express Pass — not to be confused with the state's E-ZPass — will pay $1.85, which reflects a 26 percent discount. .

  • Key projects that were taken on in the past year included:
  • Repairing three bridge deck edges ensuring a secure guard rail.
  • Significant repairs to the drawbridge and joints of Beach Bridge.
  • Repaving Beach Bridge.
  • Replacement of a major support structure column under the drawbridge.
  • Repairing and painting guard rails along the two-mile stretch.
  • Painting new traffic lines spanning the entire length of the causeway.
  • Painting all existing steel below water crossings to protect longevity.

 

Future plans include the Downbeach Express introducing a vehicle-mounted transponder system to enhance the efficiency of the current handheld cards and decals. 

The supply and testing phase has extended the transition to the second half of this year. The upgrade will significantly improve the speed and convenience of toll collection for Express Pass holders, Hansen said.

Express Pass cards can be bought and replenished online via credit card or at the Bridge toll plaza using cash or credit card. 

For a detail list of all increases, visit www.downbeachexpress.com.

author

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Sunday, June 16, 2024
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