Margate Bridge makes way for Downbeach Expressway

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Work continues as the Margate Bridge makes the conversion to the Downbeach Expressway with a new payment system. Work continues as the Margate Bridge makes the conversion to the Downbeach Expressway with a new payment system.
MARGATE – This weekend, the Downbeach Expressway will make its debut, along with new toll plan for users.

The new system is being installed this week and will be in place this weekend, according to Dave Goddard, president and CEO of Ole Hansen and Sons Inc., operator of the privately-owned Margate Bridge Company.

Along with a new name, the bridge will make a transition from the Quick Toll Card to a technologically advanced Downbeach Express Pass system, Goddard said.

Drivers will be able to use any trips remaining on their Quick Toll Card, and when those are exhausted they can replace it with the new balance system. For a minimum of $50, users can create an account at www.downbeachexpress.com and connect it to any major credit card to automatically replenish. Users can also replenish the account using cash or a check at a manned toll booth.

Goddard said the Downbeach Express will use the same proximity card currently used to pay tolls on the causeway. He said there is no need to change cards; the name will simply change to ExpressPass. Newly purchased cards will feature the new name and logo.

“The convenience the new system offers our customer is nothing short of remarkable,” Goddard said in a statement. “Our new Downbeach Express Pass customers can fully manage their personal and business accounts online, choose auto-replenishment options, use major credit cards to replenish their accounts at our manned booths and on our secure website, even scan their smart phones instead of their cards on the way through if they wish. None of these things were available before.”

While the system is being upgraded, users will be unable to make account deposits or open new accounts until Oct. 26. Account holders who have an email address associated with their account will be emailed; those who do not will need to provide the company with an email address. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (609) 965-5174. Current account holders are encouraged to log on to the website to check that their information is correct.  

Goddard said email is the primary way the company will be communicating with customers about their online accounts.

New accounts can be created online through the Downbeach Express website. Commercial and fleet accounts must call to create an account.

All Express Pass users will be charged $1.20 per toll. Toll card users who purchased 100 trips paid $1.20 per toll under the previous system and users who purchased 50 trips were charged $1.40 per trip. Now, $50 is the minimum for replenishment. Cash tolls will remain at $1.50.

As the new signs are being installed, toll collectors will be handing out brochures containing information about the new system. The website also has a Frequently Asked Questions tab.

Goddard said the bridge is the most convenient, most direct link between offshore and the Downbeach communities.

“The new name of Downbeach Express speaks to all of the primary communities we proudly serve as well as the express service we provide to our patrons, making this the most efficient, easy and convenient way to get to Downbeach from the mainland,” Goddard said. “We are very excited about our new name, the new system, and the many benefits it offers to our customers.”


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