Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact

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Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact
Formation date: 1935
Member jurisdictions: 2
Issue(s): Infrastructure
Compact website

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Compact is an interstate compact between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Text of the compact

The legislature of each member state passes the laws with certain modifications, but the core of the legislation remains the same.

Article I: Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission

There is hereby created a body corporate and politic, to be known as the "Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission" (hereinafter in this agreement called the "commission"), which shall consist of the commissioners, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, provided for by the act, approved the eighth day of May, one thousand nine hundred and nineteen (Pamphlet Laws, one hundred forty-eight), and its supplements and amendments, for the acquisition of toll bridges over the Delaware River, and of commissioners, on behalf of the State of New Jersey, provided for by the act, approved the first day of April, one thousand nine hundred and twelve (Chapter two hundred ninety-seven), and its supplements and amendments, for the acquisition of toll bridges over the Delaware River, which said commissions have heretofore been acting as a joint commission by virtue of reciprocal legislation.

No action of the commission shall be binding unless a majority of the members of the commission from Pennsylvania and a majority of the members of the commission from New Jersey shall vote in favor thereof.

In the event that any ex-officio member of the commission from Pennsylvania shall for any reason be absent from a meeting of the commission, a deputy or other person in his department designated by him for such purpose shall be authorized to act at such meeting for and in behalf of such absent member and to vote in his place on all matters which may be presented for consideration at such meeting. Such designation shall be signed by such ex-officio member and filed with the secretary of the commission and shall continue in effect until the expiration of the term of office of such member or until another designation shall be made.

In the event that any ex-officio member of the commission from New Jersey shall for any reason be absent from a meeting of the commission, a deputy or other person in the ex-officio member's department designated by the ex-officio member for such purpose shall be authorized to act at such meeting for and in behalf of such absent member and to vote in the member's place on all matters which may be presented for consideration at such meeting. Such designation shall be signed by the ex-officio member and filed with the secretary of the commission and shall continue in effect until the expiration of the term of office of such member or until another designation shall be made.

The commission shall constitute the public corporate instrumentality of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey for the following public purposes, and shall be deemed to be exercising an essential governmental function in effectuating such purposes, to wit:

(a) The administration, operation, and maintenance of the joint State-owned bridges across the Delaware River between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey, and located north of the present stone arch bridge of the Pennsylvania Railroad across the Delaware River from Morrisville to Trenton;

(b) The investigation of the necessity for additional bridge communications over the Delaware River, and the making of such studies, surveys and estimates as may be necessary to determine the feasibility and cost of such additional bridge communications;

(c) The preparation of plans and specifications for, and location, acquisition, construction, administration, operation and maintenance of, such additional bridge communications over the Delaware River, at any location north of the boundary line between Bucks county and Philadelphia county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as extended across the Delaware River to the New Jersey shore of said river, as the commission deems necessary to advance the interests of the two States and to facilitate public travel; and the issuance of bonds and obligations to provide moneys sufficient for the acquisition or construction of such bridges; and the collection of tolls, rentals, and charges for the redemption of such bonds and obligations, and the payment of interest thereon;

(d) The procurement from the government of the United States of any consents which may be requisite to enable the commission to exercise any of its powers;

(e) The investigation of the necessity for additional port and terminal facilities within the area (hereinafter referred to as the "district') comprising all of the territory within the counties of Bucks, Northampton, Monroe and Pike in Pennsylvania, all of the territory within the counties of Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon and Mercer in New Jersey, and that part of the territory within the county of Burlington in New Jersey north of the northerly bank of Rancocas Creek as said creek and its north branch extend in a general easterly direction from the Delaware River and through Mount Holly, Pemberton and Browns Mills and other communities to the Burlington-Ocean County boundary line in New Jersey;

(f) The acquisition, construction, administration, operation and maintenance of such port and terminal facilities within the district as the commission may deem necessary to advance the interests of the two States; the issuance of bonds or other obligations of the commission to provide moneys sufficient for the acquisition or construction of such facilities; and the collection of fees, rentals, tolls and other charges for the payment of such bonds or obligations and the interest thereon, and for the administration, operation and maintenance of such facilities.

Article II: Powers of the commission

For the effectuation of its authorized purposes, the commission is hereby granted the following powers as limited and supplemented by P.L.1994, c.176 (C.32:8-3.5 et seq.) and P.L.1994, c.177 (C.32:8-3.8 et seq.):

(a) To have perpetual succession.

(b) To sue and be sued.

(c) To adopt and use an official seal.

(d) To elect a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer and appoint an engineer. The secretary, treasurer, and engineer need not be members of the commission.

(e) To adopt suitable by-laws for the management of its affairs.

(f) To appoint such other officers, agents and employees as it may require for the performance of its duties.

(g) To determine the qualifications and duties of its appointees, and to fix their compensation, except that the commission shall not employ directly or as an independent contractor a member of the commission for a period of two years after the expiration of the term of office of that member.

(h) To enter into contracts.

(i) To acquire, own, hire, use, operate, and dispose of personal property.

(j) To acquire, own, use, lease, operate, and dispose of real property and interest in real property, and to make improvements thereon.

(k) To grant the use of, by franchise, lease, and otherwise, and to make and collect charges for the use of, any property or facility owned or controlled by it.

(l) To borrow money upon its bonds or other obligations, either with or without security.

(m) To exercise the power of eminent domain.

(n) To determine the exact location, system, and character of, and all other matters in connection with, any and all improvements or facilities which it may be authorized to own, construct, establish, effectuate, maintain, operate or control.

(o) In addition to the foregoing powers, to exercise the powers, duties, authority and jurisdiction heretofore conferred and imposed upon the aforesaid commissions, hereby constituted a joint commission by reciprocal legislation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey, with respect to the acquisition of toll bridges over the Delaware River, the management, operation and maintenance of such bridges, and the location, acquisition, construction, administration, operation and maintenance of additional bridge communications over the Delaware River at any location north of the boundary line between Bucks county and Philadelphia county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as extended across the Delaware River to the New Jersey shore of said river. The powers granted in this paragraph shall be in addition to those powers granted by paragraph (a) of Article X of this agreement.

(p) To exercise all other powers, not inconsistent with the Constitutions of the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey or of the United States, which may be reasonably necessary or incidental to the effectuation of its authorized purposes or to the exercise of any of the powers granted to the commission by this agreement or any amendment thereof or supplement thereto, except the power to levy taxes or assessments for benefits; and generally to exercise, in connection with its property and affairs and in connection with property under its control, any and all powers which might be exercised by a natural person or a private corporation in connection with similar property and affairs.

(q) To acquire, construct, rehabilitate, improve, maintain, lease as lessor or as lessee, repair and operate port and terminal facilities as hereinafter defined within the district, including the dredging of ship channels and turning basins and the filling and grading of land therefore.

(r) To provide from time to time for the issuance of its bonds or other obligations for any one or more of its corporate purposes; all bonds and other obligations hereafter issued by the commission shall have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments.

(s) To fix, charge, and collect fees, rentals, tolls and other charges for the use of any of its port and terminal facilities so as to provide funds at least sufficient, with other funds available for such purposes (1) to pay the cost of maintaining, repairing and operating such port and terminal facilities, including the administrative expenses of the commission chargeable thereto, (2) to pay the bonds or other obligations issued on account of such facilities and the interest thereon as the same become due and payable, and (3) to provide reserves for such purposes, and to pledge such funds, over and above such costs of maintenance, repair and operation, to the payment of such bonds or other obligations and the interest thereon.

(t) To petition the Interstate Commerce Commission, any public service or public utilities commission, or any other Federal, State or local authority, whether administrative, judicial or legislative, for the adoption and execution of any physical improvement, change in method, rate of transportation, system of handling freight, warehousing, docking, lightering or transfer of freight, which, in the opinion of the commission, may be designed to improve or facilitate the movement or handling of commerce within the district or improve the terminal or transportation facilities therein.

As used in this agreement the term "port and terminal facilities" shall mean and shall include, without intending thereby to limit the definition of such term, any one or more of the following or any combination thereof:

  1. every kind of terminal or storage structure or facility now in use or hereafter designed for use in the handling, storage, loading or unloading of freight or passengers at steamship, railroad or motor terminals or airports, and every kind of transportation facility now in use or hereafter designed for use in connection therewith; and
  2. all real and personal property and all works, buildings, structures, equipment, machinery, appliances and appurtenances necessary or convenient for the proper construction, equipment, maintenance and operation of such facility or facilities or any one or more of them.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this agreement or any provision of law, State or Federal, to the contrary, the commission may combine for financing purposes any port and terminal facility or facilities constructed or acquired by it under the provisions of this agreement with any bridge or bridges heretofore or hereafter constructed or acquired by the commission, subject to any limitations contained in any trust indenture securing bonds of the commission at the time outstanding.

The powers herein granted to the commission with reference to port and terminal facilities shall supersede the right to exercise any such powers within the district, as defined in paragraph (e) of Article I of this agreement, by any other body which has been heretofore created by compact or agreement between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey.

Nothing contained in any other of the provisions of this compact or agreement shall be deemed or construed to amend, modify or repeal any of the powers, rights or duties conferred by, or limitations or restrictions expressed in, Article X of this compact or agreement, or any of the provisions of said Article X relating to a bridge to be constructed, operated and maintained by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission or the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, acting alone or in conjunction with each other.

Notwithstanding the above, each state reserves the right to provide by law for the exercise of a veto power by the Governor of that state over any action of any commissioner from that state at any time within 10 days (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays in the particular state excepted) after receipt at the Governor's office of a certified copy of the minutes of the meeting at which such vote was taken. Each state may provide by law for the manner of delivery of such minutes, and for notification of the action thereon.

Article III: Supplemental compact to have force of statute upon its signature

Upon its signature on behalf of the State of New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the supplemental compact or agreement hereinabove set forth shall become binding, and shall have the force and effect of a statute of the State of New Jersey, and the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission shall thereupon become vested with all the powers, rights, and privileges, and be subject to the duties and obligations contained therein, as though the same were specifically authorized and imposed by statute, and the State of New Jersey shall be bound by all of the obligations assumed by it under such supplemental compact or agreement, and the Governor shall transmit an original signed copy thereof to the Secretary of State for filing in his office.

Article IV: Consent and approval of Congress

The Governor is hereby authorized to apply, on behalf of the State of New Jersey, to the Congress of the United States for its consent and approval to such supplemental compact or agreement.

Article V: Partial invalidity

If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

Article VI: Effective date

This act shall take effect immediately; but the Governor shall not enter into the supplemental compact or agreement hereinabove set forth on behalf of the State of New Jersey until passage by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of a substantially similar act, embodying the supplemental compact or agreement between the two States.

See also

External links

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References


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