The most direct route from Margate to Northfield and the Garden State Parkway will cost you more to travel beginning Monday, June 17.

Price on 'Downbeach Express' Is Going Up

The private company that owns the Downbeach Express, called the Margate Bridge by locals, is raising the price per crossing by 20 cents for Express Pass customers, and by 25 cents for drivers paying cash, effective June 17th.

Express Pass customers, (not to be confused with EZ-Pass, which they don't accept), will pay $1.85 per crossing, while cash customers will pay $2.50.

Jennifer Hansen, president of Ole Hansen and Sons Inc., the managing partner of the Margate Bridge Company, which owns and operates the Downbeach Express said in a statement on Tuesday, "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."

A Little History About the Margate Bridge

The history of the bridge dates back to 1929 when the City of Margate commissioned a toll drawbridge to be constructed from Egg Harbor Township to the city of Margate.

Before that, ferries made the trip across the back bay, or people traveled by train from the hub of Atlantic City where a train traveled to AC from Camden.

The bridge opened during the Depression in the 1930s and quickly fell into disrepair. The initial toll of 5 cents couldn't cover the cost of upkeep and repairs.

The Hill Dredging Company purchased the bridge and state funds were secured for repairs. The bridge re-opened on July 14th,1939, with a new toll of 25 cents.

In 1964, the Margate Bridge stock was auctioned off in Federal Court. The Capaldi Family and the Hansen Family submitted the highest bid and acquired the Margate Bridge.

A Look at Toll Increases on the Downbeach Express

In 2009, drivers saw an increase of 50 cents as the toll on the Margate Bridge went from $1 a ride to $1.50.

By 2016, the price to cross the Margate causeway had jumped to $1.75.

In 2019, the price increased to $2.00.

In 2022, the toll increased to $2.25 for those paying cash.

As residents of Margate and regular travelers of Downbeach Express, my 2-car family paid more than $1700 in tolls on the Margate Causeway in 2023.

It's a high price for a direct route.

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