The Washington State Transportation Commission has taken final action to adopt new toll rates for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Beginning July 1, drivers will pay $4 for Good to Go!, $5 cash and $6 pay by mail.
The commission is required 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.
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.
The commission evaluates several factors during the toll-setting process, including bridge expenses that are paid for by toll revenue, trends in traffic volumes, the schedule for bond payments, ending balances in the toll revenue account, the rate recommendations from the Citizen Advisory Committee and public input.