Freight helping major toll highways weather pandemic

Two major U.S. turnpike authorities confirmed that freight traffic has been the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal two months since the COVID-19 pandemic began decimating toll road revenue collections.

Speaking at a press briefing Thursday sponsored by the International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association (IBTTA), Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, said she has seen “no big drop-off” in commercial traffic despite overall revenue in March and April falling 25.1% and 61.6%, respectively.

“Our commercial traffic has stayed pretty strong, so that has helped us leverage out the loss on the passenger side,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. She cited temporary increases in state weight limits and federal exemptions on hours-of-service rules as factors supporting the trucking sector.