Higher tolls coming on 520 bridge
By REPORTER STAFF
Mercer Island Reporter Staff
March 22, 2012 · 11:57 AM
As the dust finally begins to settle on the State Route 520 bridge, another change is coming.
Drivers will have to pay an additional 2.5 percent in tolling starting in July, as part of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s plan to have annual raises over the next few years. For peak time drivers this means an increase of 9 cents, up to $3.59 for those with a Good to Go pass. During the cheapest times of the day, weekend evenings, prices will increase by only 3 cents.
Craig Stone, WSDOT Toll Division director, also told the commission today that SR 520 traffic and revenues are meeting expectations. For February, traffic was 17 percent higher than the plan’s forecast and revenues are 7 percent higher than forecast, Stone said.
“Tolling began Dec. 29 and we’ve had just two months of operation so far,” Stone said. “We’re pleased with the initial toll operations, and we’ll continue on course with our financial plan, which includes the upcoming, small toll increase.”
Rates will continue to increase each year by 2.5 percent through 2015. In 2016, a 15 percent increase in prices will occur.
The rate increase is needed to ensure revenue will meet costs and make debt payments to the bondholders, as required by bond contracts and the project financial plan.
The July rate increase affects all rates, whether weekday, weekend, Pay By Plate, or Pay By Mail.
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