2.5 percent toll hike approved for Hwy. 520 bridge

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The state Transportation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a 2.5 percent toll hike for the Highway 520 bridge.

The higher rate will take effect July 1.

The new peak weekday "Good To Go" pass toll rate will be $3.80. The new peak weekday pay-by-mail toll rate will be $5.40. Those rates will be in effect from 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The increase affects all toll rates for the bridge over Lake Washington, but drivers using a "Good To Go" pass will continue to pay the lowest rate.

Highway 520 bridge tolls continue to meet projections and are on track to provide $1.2 billion in funding to help pay for the construction of a new bridge, said Reema Griffith, executive director of the Transportation Commissi0n.

This year's increase is the third of four annual 2.5 percent toll rate increases for the bridge, which is part of the commission's plan established in 2011.

When the new bridge opens in July 2016, a one-time 15 percent increase will take effect, unless the commission votes to adjust it. The commission is required by law to set toll rates for the 520 bridge at levels sufficient to pay for debt payments, maintenance, preservation and operations of the bridge.