Mercer Island residents upset over I-90 tolling plan

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. -- Driving east or west around Puget Sound may soon make your bank account go south.

After successfully implementing tolling on the 520 Bridge, state leaders are now considering adding tolls to I-90. That idea isn't sitting well with residents who would be stuck in the middle of the two tolls.

Resident Larry McWilliams was one of more than 100 people who showed up to a Tuesday evening meeting in Mercer Island to hear the state's plans to possibly start tolling on I-90.

Washington is looking at tolling the interstate as a way to make up for a $1.4 billion budget shortfall needed for the new 520 Bridge. The idea is eye opening for Mercer Islands resident Sean Perryman, who uses I-90 every day.

"If it's tolled then I don't know, I think I'm going to be stranded here for a little while," he said.

Mercer Island City Councilman Mike Cero Said this isn't only about those who live on the island anyone who uses the interstate.

"It's poor policy to have one facility pay for another facility. It's a money grab," Cero said.

For now, the state is only taking input on the proposal and officials say they'll examine all possible solutions.

"We're very sensitive to those concerns. I think our message is that this is the very beginning of a very comprehensive study," said John White of the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Adding the toll would still require the green light from state and federal governments. That could come as early as next year, with tolls coming as soon as 2015.