Toll customers and other interested persons will have an opportunity to comment on the Washington State Transportation Commission’s new toll rate proposal for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
 
Public input meetings are scheduled for the commission’s proposal from  6 to 8 p.m. April 18 at Port Orchard City Hall, 216 Prospect St., and  6 to 8 p.m. April 19 at Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview St.
In addition, the commission will hold a final rate hearing and take action to adopt new toll rates in Gig Harbor on May 21. That hearing also will take place at the Gig Harbor Civic Center.
 
The proposed toll rates would take effect on July 1 are $4 for Good to Go!, $5 cash and  $7 pay by mail. The commission is required by law to set toll rates for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in an amount that is sufficient to pay the debt for the bridge, as well as to pay costs related to maintenance, preservation and operations of the bridge.
 
Because the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was financed with an escalating debt structure to minimize the initial impact on bridge users, debt payments rise over time and require additional toll revenue. In the 2007-09 biennium, the state paid $41 million in debt payments, but in the current 2011-13 biennium debt payments for the bridge reach nearly $90 million.
 
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