It’s expected, but that doesn’t make it any more fun. A state transportation commission voted on Tuesday to raise tolls on the 520 Bridge and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, as reported in this KOMO News article.
The increase will begin July 1, 2013 with a 2.5 percent rise across all toll rates on the 520 Bridge, so that the peak toll for crossing Lake Washington on 520 would be $3.70. This follows the SR 520 toll rate plan and laws set in place in January 2011. 520 Bridge toll rates also rose 2.5 percent in July 2012. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge will see tolls increase by $0.25 this summer, and again next year.
As KOMO reports, the Gig Harbor area is already experiencing economic difficulty because of the bridge tolls. This isn’t as large a concern with the 520 Bridge, where commuters and travellers looking to avoid the toll can take a longer route and use the Interstate-90 Bridge or travel around Lake Washington at its northern or southern points. However, it still has a distinct effect.
Although the vote has been made, the hike in tolls is not set in stone – lawmakers must first give the commission authority to progress with their vote. Public hearings regarding the increase are set to take place over the next 60 days. Stay tuned for more Madison Park news.
Featured photo from WSDOT.