Bridge

NEW HOPE >> The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) on July 31 announced that it has received slightly more than $48,000 in overdue tolls from two trucking companies that were recently sued for outstanding toll debts.

The toll payments stem from a series of lawsuits the Commission initiated earlier this year against 20 trucking firms that repeatedly evaded payment at the agency’s toll crossings spanning the non-navigable portion of the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“We will consider every legal tool at our disposal to enforce compliance at our toll collection points along the river,” said Executive Director Joseph Resta. “Any trucking firm that thinks it can operate with a business model of not paying tolls is going to find that we going to make it our business to go after them and collect payment.”

In February and March, the Commission joined a growing list of toll agencies around the country that are undertaking zero-tolerance actions against toll cheats by initiating civil complaints or criminal actions in courts.

The Commission’s crackdown recently resulted in payments from two trucking companies:

- CRST International, Inc. based in Cedar Rapids, Ia. paid $43,188.15 in outstanding toll and violation administrative fees recorded at Commission toll bridges between February 2016 and July 2019.

- Transcom Leasing Corp. based in Union, N.J. paid $5,000 in outstanding tolls recorded between April 2014 and October 2018.

Resta said the recent lawsuits mark the first time the Commission went to court to collect from toll scofflaws. Each lawsuit involved a trucking company – and its respective owners – that rung up repeated violations while ignoring multiple notices to make payment.

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission owns and operates eight toll bridges linking Pennsylvania and New Jersey along a 140-mile jurisdiction stretching from the Philadelphia-Bucks County boundary to the south and the New Jersey-New York state line to the north.

The newest tolled crossing – the I-295 Scudder Falls Toll Bridge – opened to traffic late July 9 between Mercer County, NJ and Bucks County, Pa. Going from south to north, the other toll bridges in the system are: Trenton Morrisville (Route 1), New Hope-Lambertville (Route 202), I-78, Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22), Portland-Columbia (Routes 611 and 46), Delaware Water Gap (I-80) and Milford-Montague (Route 206).

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