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I-90 tolling: City makes progress with full EIS and lawmaker support

The City of Mercer Island says it has made significant progress on the Interstate 90 tolling issues by pressing transportation officials to determine the need for and the impact of tolling I-90.

Recently, the Washington State Department of Transportation has agreed to conduct a new public comment period during the EIS scoping process.

The city worked toward legislation that was adopted in the recent session, which now requires WSDOT to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) instead of the lesser Environmental Assessment that was originally planned. Following the adoption of that legislation, the city sent a letter to WSDOT, urging them to conduct a new round of public comment given the new EIS requirement and asking that they coordinate the EIS with any regional study to be conducted by the Puget Sound Regional Council. WSDOT has agreed with the city’s suggested direction in their response. WSDOT plans to announce a timeline for the new EIS scoping and public comment period later this summer.

Congressman Dave Reichert recently sent a letter to Anthony Foxx, the incoming secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, regarding I-90 tolling. In his letter, Reichert raises concerns about the potential impacts of tolling on commerce and the legality of tolling I-90.

For details on the EA, go to: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I90/CrossLakeWATolling/ScopingSummaryReport.

For updates on the city’s work to prevent the tolling of I-90, go to www.mercergov.org, or contact Deputy City Manager Noel Treat.

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