Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

NOTICE: Word on the Street has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Word on the Street.
Visit the new section.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll rates increase Monday

Post by Christian Hill / The News Tribune on June 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm with 13 Comments »
June 28, 2013 5:22 pm
Toll rates on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge will increase by 25 cents starting Monday. (The News Tribune file photo)

As the temperature goes up, so do Tacoma Narrows Bridge tolls.

The toll rates will increase 25 cents on Monday, the first of two increases approved by the Washington State Transportation Commission in May. The second 25-cent increase will take effect on July 1, 2014.

Good to Go! tolls will be $4.25, and tollbooth and pay-by-mail tolls will be $5.25 and $6.25, respectively.

State official financed the project by backloading the debt in an effort to keep tolls as low as possible when the new span opened in July 2007. Officials assumed increases in tolls — the financing plan anticipated $1 toll increases every three years to a maximum of $6 in 2016 — and usage from population growth would generate enough money to make the escalating debt payments.

But the annual traffic count has remained flat and revenue has only increased following a toll hike. The count has hovered around 14 million a year and is projected to end the budget year that wraps up Sunday at the lowest level since the eastbound span opened nearly six years ago.

The bridge was projected to take in $60.6 million in toll revenue during the current budget year thanks to a toll hike that took effect in July, the first increase in four years.

Tollpayers faced the prospect of a steeper rate hike this year but the transportation commission allowed some flexibility in how it accounts for an emergency cushion it would draw upon in the event of an extended bridge closure.

You’re invited to follow Christian Hill on Twitter @TNTchill.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. northwestrealtor says:

    Once again the lack of foresight by simple minded Washington State politicians with bad math skills takes it’s ….. TOLL, pun intended!
    That’s what happens when you nickel and dime people to death. Instead of making the toll “reasonable” and collecting more revenue by volume, good old greedy Washington State politicians thought it would be better to jack people around and pick their pockets with high and ever increasing tolls. Looks like their ill conceived plan backfired. People should avoid the Tacoma Narrows Bridge at all costs. It’s nothing but a tax trap!

  2. guidocarmasi says:

    wait until they implement the 10 cents a gallon tax on top of that!!

  3. mustang6984 says:

    There is a part of this story missing. Initially we were told that the bridge tolls wouldn’t rise above $3 ever…that the expectation was the bridge could be paid off with that amount.
    Now…we are seeing two increases within the last 6 months, with another to come. Used to be cheaper to drive around and go through the bridge than take the ferry to go to Seattle if you lived on the peninsula…but soon, it will be cheaper to take the ferry when you factor in cost of fuel and time.

    Plus, you KNOW that even after the bridge is paid for, they won’t take down the tolls…they are already showing signs of addiction to the money. I’m surprised they haven’t added toll booths to the west bound side. (OOPs! Better be careful….they might see this and do that next!) This state is getting to be as greedy as Califoreignya…oh…wait..we ARE part of Califoreignya now!

  4. stradivari says:

    Fact is is that 26th District Republican legislators Tom Huff and Bob Oke promoted the scheme to let American Infrastructure (a division of Bechtel Corporation then run by George Schultz and Caspar Weinberberger) build and actually own this one mile stretch of State Route 16 for a period of 50 years. Voters unfortunately approved this scheme. Each time you drive east over the Narrows part of your toll undoubtedly ends up as a campaign contribution to republicans.

  5. LeePHilI says:

    For all the talk by people who claim they shouldn’t have to pay for services they don’t use (transit, schools, etc), it’s funny when you have exactly that – a bridge – and they complain about having to pay to use it.

  6. stradivari says:

    As far as I know, the State of Washington does not profit at all from the Narrows Bridge toll as it is not the owner of the structure.

  7. northwestrealtor says:

    The toll rates will increase 25 cents on Monday, the first of two increases approved by the Washington State Transportation Commission in May. The second 25-cent increase will take effect on July 1, 2014.

  8. northwestrealtor says:

    TheState of Washington profits from everything you spend a dime on!

  9. stradivari says:

    If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

  10. northwestrealtor says:

    The State of Washington has already bought your bridge Strad-Amati and it looks like you’re stuck making their mortgage payments!

  11. mustang6984 says:

    Stradi…you’ve been drinking way too much bilge water. Your brain long ago rotted and went out the chute below into the porcelain stew pot.

  12. ItalianSpring says:

    Let’s just raise it to $20.00. Hey Inslee- what’s the holdup on that state income tax?? Get crackin!

  13. mustang6984 says:

    Yea, right…a state income tax. Sure…and watch as the balance the businesses worth having in this state pack up and leave.

    We’re so much like Califoreignya now, we may as well just change the name of Oregon (also like Califoreignya) and Washington to Califoreignya!

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0