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Comments sought on proposed SR 520 toll rates

The State Transportation Commission recently released its proposed toll rates for the SR 520 Bridge and is holding public meetings to gather input on the proposal. 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 has scheduled three public meetings for people to learn more about the toll rate proposal and provide comments. The first two meetings will be to take input only.

  • Public Input Meeting #1: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, at the Sound Transit Board Room, Union Station, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle.
  • Public Input Meeting #2: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, at Bellevue City Hall Council Chambers, 450 110th Ave. NE, Bellevue.
  • Final Hearing: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, at the Sound Transit Board Room, Union Station, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle. The commission will take public comment and is expected to adopt the final toll rates at this meeting.

In addition to the public meetings, comments can be sent anytime up until the final hearing in January by e-mailing the commission at: transc [at] wstc [dot] wa [dot] gov.

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.

For more information about SR 520 bridge toll setting, visit the Transportation Commission’s website at http://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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