Will Narrows Bridge ever be toll-free?

The in basket: Melinda Knapp asks, “Is there a place where we can see the breakdown on how much has been collected and paid toward the price of building the (Tacoma Narrows) bridge?  Will this toll always be in place or will it be discontinued when the bridge has been ‘paid for’?

The out basket: The plan from the beginning has been for the tolls to retire the bonds that paid for the bridge in 2030, and that the bridge would become toll-free then. That still is the expectation, says Annie Johnson of the state’s Good to Go! toll office.

Projections before the bridge opened were that the toll would be $6 per crossing by 2016 and stay there through 2030, but that didn’t differentiate between various kinds of tolls, and may not have even envisioned license plate tolling. And as we have seen, raising the tolls is a political process involving a citizens committee and the state Transportation Commission.

“We do post quarterly financial statements for all our toll facilities online,” Annie said. “You and your readers can find the Tacoma Narrows Bridge financial statements online at  http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Tolling/TNBTolling/TNBLibrary.htm.


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