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State Transportation Commission adopts toll increase for SR 520 bridge
The Washington State Transportation Commission approved a 2.5 percent toll-rate increase for the State Route 520 bridge with a unanimous vote on April 16. The new rates will take effect on July 1.
The new peak, weekday Good To Go! pass toll rate will be $3.80, and the new peak, weekday Pay By Mail toll rate will be $5.40. The “weekday peak rate” is defined as 7-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The increase affects all toll rates, but drivers using a Good To Go! pass will continue to pay the lowest rate. The complete toll-rate schedule for the SR 520 bridge will be posted online later this month at www.wstc.wa.gov.
SR 520 traffic and revenue continue to meet projections and are on track to provide $1.2 billion in funding to help pay for the construction of a new bridge. This year’s increase is the third of four annual 2.5 percent toll rate increases for SR 520, which is part of the commission’s plan established in 2011. When the new bridge opens in July 2016, there is a planned, one-time 15 percent increase. However, the commission may adjust any of these anticipated rate increases after its review of traffic and revenue each year. The commission is required by law to set toll rates for the SR 520 bridge at levels sufficient to pay for debt payments, maintenance, preservation and operations of the bridge.
In adjusting rates for the SR 520 bridge, the commission must acquire certificates from three independent entities that certify the proposed rate increase will meet legal mandates, revenue requirements and address acceptable cost levels. In setting rates for the SR 520 bridge, the commission evaluates and considers several factors including bridge expenses that are paid for by toll revenue, trends in traffic volumes, the schedule for bond payments and ending balances in the toll revenue account.
For more information about the commission, visit www.wstc.wa.gov.