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State Transportation Commission proposes toll rate increase on SR-520 bridge

By REPORTER STAFF
Mercer Island Reporter Staff
March 19, 2013 · Updated 9:57 AM
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The Washington State Transportation Commission is proposing a 2.5 percent toll-rate increase for the State Route 520 bridge. The new rate would take effect July 1. This increase is consistent with the project’s state financial plan, which anticipates annual rate increases of 2.5 percent through 2015.

Under the proposal, peak Good To Go! rates would be $3.70, and the peak Pay By Mail rates would be $5.25. The increase affects all toll rates, but drivers using a Good To Go! pass will continue to pay the lowest toll rate. The complete proposed toll-rate schedule for the SR 520 bridge will be posted online at www.wstc.wa.gov.

Interested persons may comment on the proposal up until the commission’s May 22 meeting, when commissioners will take action. Comments can be submitted to the commission in writing via email or mail. Email comments can be sent to transc@wsdot.wa.gov. Written comments can be mailed to: PO Box 47308, Olympia, WA, 98504-7308.

This is the second of four annual, 2.5-percent rate increases for SR-520 planned through 2015. In July 2016, there is a planned 15 percent increase that is based on forecasted traffic levels. However, all rate increases are subject to the commission’s review and approval, and it may make adjustments to the plan as needed. 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 four independent entities that certify the proposed rate increase will meet legal mandates, revenue requirements, and address acceptable cost levels. The commission evaluates and considers several factors during the toll-setting process, including bridge expenses that are paid for by toll revenue, trends in traffic volumes, the schedule for bond payments, ending balances in the toll revenue account, and public comments submitted to them.

For more information about the commission, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/

 

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