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May 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Board approves 520 bridge toll boost, to $3.70 peak

The cost of crossing the old Highway 520 floating bridge will increase by 11 cents each way on July 1, to $3.70 at peak times.

The Washington State Transportation Commission says it approved the change Wednesday morning, while meeting in Port Townsend. This sort of annual boost has been in the fiscal plan for years, and is prescribed by state codes.

State officials are calling this an across-the-board 2.5 percent increase, but the current peak rate of $3.59 will actually rise 3.1 percent. That’s so because the commission rounded to the nearest nickel. Tolls are collected electronically via the Good to Go system, so motorists do not fumble for pennies.

The old four-lane bridge is being tolled as a traffic-management experiment, and to give the state a head start on funding a $4.1 billion, six-lane highway replacement from I-405 to I-5.

The peak rate applies from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  The midday toll will rise from $2.31 to $2.35, or 1.7 percent.  Drivers without a state account are charged by mail, with a surcharge of either $1.55 or $1.60. Below you’ll find the new rates, but there are several other rates; the entire matrix can be found here.

Notes: 1. The rate for electronic tolls has been rounded to the nearest five cents, as needed. 2. For this type of payment method, the customer is charged the Good to Go!™ Pass toll rate plus a $0.25 fee as provided in WAC 468-270-300. 3. For this type of payment method, the customer is given a $0.50 discount off the Pay By Mail toll rate as provided in WAC 468-270-300. 4. The weekend rates will be assessed for the following holidays: New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Notes:
1. The rate for electronic tolls has been rounded to the nearest five cents, as needed.
2. For this type of payment method, the customer is charged the Good to Go!™ Pass toll rate plus a $0.25 fee as provided in WAC 468-270-300.
3. For this type of payment method, the customer is given a $0.50 discount off the Pay By Mail toll rate as provided in WAC 468-270-300.
4. The weekend rates will be assessed for the following holidays: New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

(By the way, for five more weeks, Highway 520 is believed to be the only U.S. tollway that charges its customers a prime number.)

Comments | More in General news, Traffic & Transit | Topics: Highway 520 Bridge, increase, tolls

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