520 Bridge toll closer to a reality, rate structure recommended




Posted on January 6, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 6 at 8:34 AM

SEATTLE - We knew it was coming, but it looks like drivers are one step closer to paying tolls on the 520 Floating Bridge.

At last night's third and final public comment meeting, the Washington State Transportation Commission voted for the tolls and said they have no choice.

The tolls are needed to build a new 520 Bridge, before the old one falls apart.

But, the state legislature has the final say. Lawmakers still has to approve these new tolls. That's because voters approved Initiative 1053, which says lawmakers need a two-thirds majority vote to approve higher taxes and fees.

If approved, here's what drivers could be paying to drive across the 520 Bridge.

- $3.50 each way during peak hours - 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

- Off-peak rates will range from $0 to $2.80

- Free during the overnight hours of 11 pm to 5 a.m.

Cab driver, Alem Aoma isn't happy about paying tolls and says it would have ripple effect.

"I don't know who's going to pay this it might end up being a burden on the passengers as well," said Moma.

Jordan Cowgill commutes from Seattle to Bellevue and says he would take I-90 instead.

"I cross everyday for work. It would be a big impact, some $35 or more a week," said Cowgill.

If approved by the state legislature, drivers would have to start paying a toll this spring.