OLYMPIA– The State Transportation Commission released its proposed toll rates for the SR 520 Bridge in late November and is holding its final public hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 in Seattle. The state intends to begin collecting tolls on the bridge in spring 2011 to help pay for a new SR 520 floating bridge and make improvements from Medina to Bellevue.
The commission held two public meetings in early December, one in Seattle and one in Bellevue. The final hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, at the Sound Transit Board Room, Union Station, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle. Public comment on the proposal will be taken at the hearing. The commission is expected to adopt the toll rates, pending legislative action.
Comments can be sent anytime up until the final hearing on January 5th by e-mailing the commission at: email@example.com.
Highlights of the commission’s toll proposal are:
· Peak period rates (7 – 9 a.m. and 3 – 6:00 p.m.): $3.50 each way
· Off-peak rates: range from $0 – $2.80
· Free crossings: from 11 p.m. – 5 a.m.
· Proposed exemptions include transit, responding emergency vehicles, and Washington State Patrol vehicles providing enforcement on the SR 520 corridor.
The commission’s toll rate proposal is designed to maintain travel time, speed and reliability as well as generate the revenue necessary to cover the costs of operations, maintenance, and debt repayment. Once tolling starts in spring 2011, the commission will periodically review traffic and revenue data to determine if current toll rates are meeting performance measures related to travel time and revenue targets for debt repayment. If performance is not meeting expectations, toll rates will need to be adjusted. After bridge construction is complete, the commission will examine the entire SR 520 tolling plan, including toll exemptions and rates.
For more information about SR 520 bridge toll setting, visit the Transportation Commission’s website at wstc.wa.gov/HighwayTolling/SR520Bridge.htm.
For information on the Transportation Commission, visit their website at www.wstc.wa.gov.
Information about the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program is online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr520bridge.
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