You have to pay for it somehow. With tolling already implemented on 520, WSDOT has started the public process to also add tolling on I-90. Details on a public open house in the Central District tonight, below. It’s a plan to cover a $1.4 billion deficit in the construction budget for the 520 replacement project. And boy is Mercer Island pissed:
Cold reality is setting in for drivers of Interstate 90, who three years from now might have to pay $1,900 a year to cross Lake Washington.
I-90 tolls would help the state close a deficit of $1.4 billion to complete the new $4.1 billion, six-lane Highway 520 floating bridge, three miles north — a bridge Mercer Island residents say they rarely use.
Publicola, by the way, provides this interesting factoid about Mercer Island’s previous I-90 push-back:
…Mercer Island residents made a similar case about HOV lanes on I-90 in 1976, arguing that they should get unfettered access to carpool lanes in exchange for accepting I-90 in their community. To this day, nearly four decades later, Islanders are the only people in the state allowed to drive in HOV lanes alone.
Thursday night, you can learn more about the plan and provide feedback to the state at a public open house to discuss the proposed tolling. You can also add your $0.02 online — links below.
WSDOT is preparing an environmental assessment that will evaluate the effects of tolling Interstate 90 between I-5 in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue. Tolls are being considered to generate revenue to help fund replacement of the SR 520. I-90 tolling will also help alleviate congestion on I-90 giving travelers a safer, more reliable trip.
Commuters and communities are encouraged to get involved with the study process by learning about the project and submitting comments.
How to comment
- Online : complete the online form
- Email : I90EAcomments@wsdot.wa.gov
- In person : at our public scoping meetings (no open mic) — Yesler Community Center Jan. 31 (4pm-7pm) 917 East Yesler Way Seattle, WA 98122 (construction on East Yesler Way – please access parking from Washington St.)
- Mail : Print and mail the comment form (pdf 500 kb) or send written comments to:
999 Third Avenue Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98104
The public scoping comment period is from January 22 to February 22, 2013. WSDOT has created a Community Guide (pdf 1 mb) to provide an overview of the project and guidance to the public on how to best provide meaningful and timely input to the I-90 Tolling Environmental Assessment.