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.

Category: Tacoma Narrows Bridge

March
25th

Tollpayers can comment on proposed Narrows toll hike

Tollpayers and others have two chances to comment on a proposal by the Washington State Transportation Commission to increase tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge by 25 cents during each of the next two summers.

Comments will be taken at two commission meetings scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 15 and May 20. Both meetings will take place at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview Street. The commission is scheduled to take action on tolls at the May 20 meeting.

Those unable to attend the meeting can send comments via email or “snail mail.” Written

Read more »

Feb.
22nd

Lawmaker proposes cap on Tacoma Narrows Bridge tolls

A peninsula lawmaker is proposing a way to pay off the Tacoma Narrows Bridge without any further increases in toll rates.

To do that, the legislation drafted by Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, would rely on loans from the state’s motor vehicle fund until the bridge is paid off in 2030. It would then keep tolls on the bridge until those loans are repaid.

Angel, a former Realtor and banker, likens the legislation that was introduced Thursday to extending a home mortgage.

She earlier proposed selling the naming rights to bridges and highways as a way to raise money

Read more »

Jan.
15th

Seeking guidance, Narrows bridge toll panel delays meeting

The group charged with recommending toll increases on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is postponing its meeting tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 15, to receive more guidance on the process.

The citizen advisory committee is waiting to hear from the Washington Transportation Commission before it convenes for its rescheduled meeting on Feb. 5. The commission will meet Jan. 23 and 24 in Olympia.

The committee is in the midst of drafting its recommendation to the commission, which has the authority to set toll rates.

Noah Crocker, a financial analyst for the commission, said it will discuss and may provide direction on the differential

Read more »

Nov.
12th

State again to consider Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll hike

A citizens advisory committee will meet Tuesday, Nov. 13, to start the process to raise tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge next summer.

The convening of the committee comes more four months after toll increases took effect July 1. The increases were the first in four years.

As I reported extensively in July, when the bridge turned five years old, another rate hike is all but a foregone conclusion. The financial plan used to construct the bridge relied on growing traffic and revenue to make the escalating debt payments; the bridge’s debt service is paid for exclusively by

Read more »

Oct.
18th

WSDOT reports delay in toll bills for Narrows bridge

More tolling problems have delayed the mailing of Tacoma Narrows Bridge tolls to thousands of motorists, state transportation officials announced Thursday.

Motorists should see older Good to Go! tolls in the mail in the next few weeks as the state’s toll contractor, Electronic Transaction Consultants Corp., works through the last of the backlog, the Washington State Department of Transportation said in a press release.

The state said about 100,000 transactions for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge got clogged up in the electronic tolling system, and ETCC was unable to process them in a timely manner. The delay also affected another 250,000

Read more »

Sep.
20th

WSDOT says Narrows bridges still standing, despite distorted iOS 6 photo

A distorted aerial photo of the Tacoma Narrows Bridges released Wednesday as part of the maps in Apple’s iOS 6 mobile operating system caused the Washington State Department of Transportation to Tweet Thursday that the bridges are still intact.

A tumblr.com blog called The Amazing iOS 6 Maps, mocking the new system,  posted the picture with the caption: “Oh no, Galloping Gertie is back!” The reference

Read more »

Sep.
18th

Tardy toll users on Tacoma Narrows Bridge can’t renew vehicle registration

Drivers who are late paying tolls for crossing the Tacoma Narrows bridges cannot renew their vehicle registrations.

The Washington State Department of Transportation says 8,000 people are tardy with tolls for the Narrows bridges and state Route 520.

Their names have been turned over to the Department of Licensing, which will bar them from renewing their vehicle registration until all fees and penalties are paid.

About 1,500 of the tardy toll users are from the Narrows Bridge; 250 drivers have failed to may tolls on both the Narrows Bridge and SR 520. The remaining 6,250 have outstanding fines from driving

Read more »

June
13th

We’re seeking readers to discuss impact of bridge tolls

The new Tacoma Narrows Bridge turns five years old next month.

The project eased the commute for tens of thousands of residents living and working on the peninsula, but the faster drive came at the cost of bridge tolls.

We are working on stories that examine the future of tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and how they have affected the lives of residents who regularly pay them.

We want to feature residents discussing how tolls have impacted their household budgets, how they’ve adjusted their lifestyles to pay that expense and how they’ll adjust their finances to pay for the

Read more »