The new chief engineer of the Delaware River Port Authority should be paid $136,500 a year, a DRPA committee said today.

Michael Venuto, who has been serving as acting chief engineer, should be promoted to director of engineering, with an increase from his current salary of $118,298, the DRPA compensation committee decided.

The full DRPA board must still approve the appointment and the salary for Venuto, who has been with the DRPA engineering department since 2000.

Venuto replaces Bill Brooks, who resigned early this year, and he takes the job as the DRPA begins an ambitious five-year, $1 billion construction plan that includes major repairs on the authority's bridges.