By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
MARGATE – June 1 is the magic date for raising tolls on the Downbeach Express. Ole Hansen and Sons announced to over the weekend that tolls on the Downbeach Express – Margate bridge and causeway – would be raised 25 cents per crossing starting June 1. The last time tolls were raised was on June 3, 2019.
Motorists using cash will pay $2.25 in each direction to use the toll road, and those with an Express Pass will pay $1.65 per crossing. Having an Express Pass card saves more than 25% on the cost of traveling through the toll both.
“The fare increase is made necessary by the high cost of maintaining the four bridges and the more than 2 miles of roadway that comprise the Downbeach Express,” said Mike Lentz, treasurer of Ole Hansen and Sons, the parent company that owns and operates the causeway and bridges.
The bridges are 95 years old and require continuous maintenance, which is funded through toll collections.
“We have spent and continue to spend millions of dollars in capital repair and maintenance costs to keep the bridges and roadway safe and well-conditioned. The only way to fund this work is through periodic toll adjustments,” Lentz said.
The causeway is used by local and seasonal residents and visitors to the City of Margate and is an access point for Mainland travelers to get to Margate and other towns on Absecon Island.
“It is our responsibility to ensure their safety, and to ensure that the bridges and roadway remain operational,” Lentz said. “We take that responsibility very seriously, as evidenced by the ongoing investment in the upkeep of the entire span, including the extensive repair and maintenance work done recently to the deck and roadway of Beach Thorofare and Whirlpool Bridge in the past two years, along with the ongoing reconstruction of piers supporting all four bridges.”
Travelers can obtain a Downbeach Express card, which includes the discounted rate and automatic renewals, at www.downbeachexpress.com or at the bridge toll plaza using cash or credit cards.
Copyright Mediawize, LLC 2021