CHS Pics | 520 tolls start with quiet holiday commute

We won’t have a sense of what it’s really like to live with the new 520 tolls until next week. Thursday morning’s debut in the middle of a holiday week was a good environment for a soft launch. It was pretty darned quiet in Montlake.

WSDOT says the early tolls got off to a bang, however — the first car registered by the electronic tolling system was reportedly a Honda CRV doing 76 miles per hour. The system only registers a toll, not a traffic infraction so the driver who was either eager to make history or trying to be the last car to beat the toll or just clueless won’t end up with a ticket.

The state’s toll projections predict it will take about 40 years to pay for the roadway’s new bridge. KUOW took a look at what the tolling will likely do to Seattle’s traffic patterns.

“It’s not just for those that are going across the bridge that are going to be tolled, it’s also going to be traffic on I–5, on 405, on I–90. Everyone who’s in the Lake Washington area probably just needs to plan ahead a little bit because there’s going to be some shifting around traffic.”

So, there you go.

Information on the toll rates and payment options from our coverage is here. CHS also documented the installation of the tolling equipment early last winter.

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4 thoughts on “CHS Pics | 520 tolls start with quiet holiday commute

  1. Traffic congestion on I-90 is going to get significantly worse. The surface streets in nearby neighborhoods will also be bad. Estimated 20,000+ more cars/day on I-90. No escaping the 520 tolls. Cut them in half, toll both bridges, bring traffic back to normal.

  2. It’s total lunacy to pretend traffic won’t heavily divert to I-90. They have to know this already. I’ll bet they’ve already got plans on the drawing board to toll I-90. They should. Nobody’s going to pay $7 a day for 520 unless they’re made of money. Maybe some are, but not that many.