Driving on Ocean Drive through coastal Cape May County is about to become more convenient, and more expensive.

The Cape May County Bridge Commission announced Tuesday that an E-ZPass toll collection system will be installed on all five of the Ocean Drive bridges

Simultaneously, the bridge commission proposed a $1 seasonal toll increase that will be decided by a vote scheduled for Thursday, April 27, following a public hearing on the matter the same day.

The bridges in the Ocean Drive system run south from Ocean City to Grassy Sound near Wildwood, connecting Cape May County’s barrier islands.

“Our bridges are getting this makeover because the current systems are 10 years old and are in need of an upgrade,” said Karen Coughlin, executive director of the Cape May County Bridge Commission. “With the price of electronics down, these new additions create a win-win situation. We anticipate an increase in the number of people using the bridges and paying tolls — adding to the revenue which will support our efforts to improve the overall conditions of the bridge.”

So that “year-around residents do not carry the burden” of the toll hike, the offseason increase would be 50 cents over the current $1.50 toll that passenger cars are required to pay, according to Patrick Rosenello, chairman of the bridge commission.

The toll increase would be the first to be imposed since 2009.  In addition to funding the new E-ZPass system, the toll increase would help pay for a balanced operating budget, establish a proactive maintenance plan, and provide funding for long-term capital improvements.

Source:The Cape May County Bridge Commission

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