The I-95 Highway Bridge that crosses the Delaware River just north of Trenton was built in 1959 to last for a more than hundred years. Its thick steel-plate girders over eight massive stone and concrete piers are solid. The river there is so narrow and shallow you can almost walk across.
So why does the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission plan to tear down that perfectly good bridge, and replace it with a new bridge that will cost $328 million for 1,728 – a third of a billion dollars a mile? At a billion dollars a mile, it would be even more expensive than that outrageously expensive $600 million Pulaski Highway over 2.5 miles of salt-marsh that just replaced two small draw bridges between Somers Point and Ocean City in South Jersey.
First the existing bridge is free. As with most bridge commissions and authorities in New Jersey, the political insiders appointed to run them are expected to reward the politicians who appointed them, besides loading the payroll with personal friends and family. And you can’t do that if you can’t collect tolls. And you can’t collect tolls on the existing bridge, because it was built with federal money. So the only solution is to tear down the existing bridge, and replace it with a new expensive toll bridge.
Second, our Republican Governor, Chris Christie wants to be President. And because Christie completely alienated all Republicans like me who believe in low taxes, individual liberty, and limited Constitutional government, Christie went elsewhere for support.
For the past six months, Christie has bragged about all of the campaign money and political support he is getting from the building trade contractors and unions like the Ironworkers Union run by Democratic State Senate President Steve Sweeney. And Christie always did well with the big Wall Street banks that make fortunes putting together loan packages that crush taxpayer with big tax and toll hikes.
Is it a stretch to say that Christie is backing this plan to win support from the unions, contractors, and Wall Street banks who would benefit from the $328 million of construction work and loan package?. And from all the people who would be hired to expand E-Z Pass and collect the tolls!
And think of how much easier it will be to raise tolls on all the Delaware bridges, once the last free bridge is gone!
You can find the answer by looking at a bitter battle now going on in Atlantic County over a single freeholder seat.
For six years, Joe McDevitt has been the perfect candidate for the Republican Party. Although a principled conservative, he is an intelligent, articulate popular vote-getter. He is a popular school teacher who also runs a well-known landscaping business.
But without warning, the Republican leaders of Atlantic County dumped McDevitt from the ticket, and replaced him with Will Pauls, a former Democrat who is the $126,000 per year paid business agent for Local 320 of Steve Sweeney’s Ironworker’s Union.
If you connect the dots from one end of the state to the other, you see a clear plan of how Republican Chris Christie is selling the Republican Party in New Jersey to the big Democratic Building Trades Unions—and the big Wall Street banks that finance their projects– with high tolls and taxes.
Enough! This is why I am running as a Conservative Republican against Chris Christie in the June 4 Primary Election.”