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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 3, 2012 at 8:04 AM

520 bridge traffic down 37% so far today

About 37 percent fewer drivers than normal crossed the 520 bridge between 6 and 7 a.m. this morning, transportation officials said.

Some 2,600 vehicles crossed during that time, compared with the typical 4,200, said Patty Michaud, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation. About 85 percent of them had state-issued Good to Go stickers that automatically pay tolling fees, she said.

The decline is roughly in line with estimates on the impact tolling would have on the bridge, which costs drivers up to $3.50 — plus a $1.50 surcharge for those without the stickers — during rush hour. When the tolling began Dec. 29, traffic was down even more at nearly 50 percent, but that was during the holiday week between Christmas and New Years.

Today is the first post-holiday commute since the tolling began.

Officials were closely watching other major roads, including Interstate 90, to see how they would be impacted by drivers changing their routines to avoid the tolls.

But early this morning, there were no reports of significant delays.

“It’s looking pretty typical so far but it’s still early,” said Michaud, although she added she had no hard numbers. “We’re still watching.”

On the other hand, some commuters were posting on Twitter about differences in traffic and public transportation.

Comments | More in Traffic & Transit | Topics: 520, commute, tolls

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