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.
(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.)
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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