Transportation Commission Office - PO Box 47308 - Olympia, WA 98504-7308
Date: April 11, 2016
Contact: Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Transportation Commission has released a proposal to raise toll rates on the State Route 520 bridge by 5 percent this July, a lower increase than an earlier planned double-digit increase. Interested persons will have an opportunity to learn more and share their views on the rate proposal until Tuesday, May 10.
The new SR 520 bridge, opening to traffic this month, is required to generate $1.2 billion in toll revenue to cover a portion of the structure’s cost. Though long-term financial planning originally called for an approximate 15 percent increase in toll rates in 2016, the commission, in cooperation with Washington State Department of Transportation leadership, determined that a much more modest increase would be sufficient to meet financial requirements.
The commission placed a high priority on keeping the toll rates as low as possible, for as long as possible, given expected construction disruptions on the west side of the bridge in the coming years as WSDOT works to deliver improvement projects between the bridge and Interstate 5.
The commission’s SR 520 toll rate proposal is as follows:
- Weekday and weekend toll rates would increase 5 percent on July 1, 2016, and 5 percent on July 1, 2017. These annual 5 percent increases would equate to weekday, peak period tolls increasing 20 cents each year. That means, the current weekday, peak period toll rate would go from $3.90 to $4.10 in 2016 and to $4.30 in 2017.
- Nighttime tolling (11 p.m. – 5 a.m.) would begin on July 1, 2017, at a flat rate of $1.25.
While the WSTC is proposing rate changes for two years, it will assess traffic performance and revenue collections in early 2017, before the second increase goes into effect on July 1, 2017, to ensure it is both needed and sufficient.
The commission will hold two public input meetings on Thursday, April 21, providing people an opportunity to learn more about the toll rate proposal, and to offer comment to the commission. Each meeting will start with an open house where information will be provided about the toll rate proposal as well as the SR 520 project, and Transportation Commissioners, along with WSDOT staff, will be present to answer questions.
Details on the public meetings are as follows:
- Seattle: Thursday, April 21
Open House: 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Public Meeting: 12 – 2 p.m.
Union Station, Sound Transit Board Room
401 S Jackson St., Seattle
- Bellevue: Thursday, April 21
Open House: 5:30 – 6 p.m.
Public Meeting: 6 – 8 p.m.
Bellevue City Hall, Council Chambers
450 110th Ave. NE, Bellevue
Persons who are unable to attend the public meetings can also submit written comments on the proposal:
- Email: email@example.com
- Mail: WSTC, PO Box 47308, Olympia, WA, 98504
The WSTC will hold the final hearing where they will act on the rate changes, at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, during its meeting at the WSDOT Headquarters Building, 310 Maple Park Ave., Olympia.
For more information on the SR 520 bridge toll rate proposal or to learn more about the commission, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/