City of Mercer Island I-90 tolling update

The City of Mercer Island and other Eastside communities have been urging state and federal officials to expand the studies of the need for and impacts of, I-90 tolling.

In April, the city co-signed a letter with King County, Seattle, Bellevue and others asking the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to work with the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), the region’s planning agency, on a broader study of tolling and its impacts, which would include a study of alternative revenue options. According to an update by Deputy City Manager Noel Treat, the city has received a response to that letter, signed by both WSDOT and PSRC, indicating they are working on a draft scope, timeline and funding plan for such a study. The city will continue to advocate that the PSRC study be well coordinated with the Environmental Impact Statement process regarding I-90.

Mayor Bruce Bassett, Councilmember Mike Grady and Treat met with federal officials this week in Washington, D.C., to discuss the legal and policy concerns regarding I-90 tolling.

The Federal Highway Administration provided assurances that they are well aware of the issues that the city has raised, have not made any decisions about I-90, will complete an objective legal review of the state’s proposal, and will provide oversight to the state’s EIS processFHWA sees merit in the regional study being proposed to the PSRC, Treat wrote.

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