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Correction: Tolls on 520 would be same as those on Narrows

Post by News Tribune Staff on Jan. 29, 2009 at 12:47 pm with No Comments »
January 29, 2009 12:47 pm

Or pretty close to the same. Yesterday, I posted an item that said it looked as if tolls on the Highway 520 bridge would average only $2.92 in 2016, when tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge would be $6.

Turns out, I overlooked a key element of the report: Toll on 520 will be in EACH direction, not in only ONE direction, as is the case on the new Narrows Bridge. So, I have to double the 520 toll for a roundtrip, making it $5.86.

That’s close enough to $6.

Rick Olson, spokesman for the Puget Sound Regional Council, brought my error to my attention. Thanks.

Hi Joe.

I caught your post. You pose a good question about comparisons between tolls on the Narrows and the tolls evaluated by the 520 Tolling Implementation Committee and published again in the report the Committee sent to the legislature yesterday.

Here’s an answer:

The tolls the committee evaluated are not the proposed tolls for 520. The Committee was tasked with evaluating different tolling options and their potential impact on traffic around Lake Washington. Studying that required the Committee to use sample toll rates. The Committee received feedback on the sample rates used, and the ways they are likely to impact traffic on other state and local roads. The committee also used the sample toll rates to report on how speeds are likely to change, how many people would opt to take transit, change the time of day they took a trip (because the toll rates were variable by time of day in all but one option the committee evaluated), among other things.

All the sample toll rates in the Committee’s report are in 2007 dollars. The evaluation included an assumption that the rates would increase with inflation from 2007.

Among differences between the tolls contemplated for the 520 and the tolls on the Narrows: tolls are paid one way on the Narrows. All of the sample tolls evaluated for the 520 are paid each direction. It is anticipated that tolls will be paid each direction on the 520.


(Photo: AP)

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