If you have an opinion about the WSDOT initiating a toll on I-90 between I-5 in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue, now is the time to share your thoughts. Officials from WSDOT are spending time during 2013 gathering data and public comments regarding the potential tolling of the I-90 floating bridge stretch. Your first opportunity to hear more information about WSDOT’s thoughts on I-90 tolling, and their corresponding traffic data, is at the City Council’s regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. Craig Stone, assistant secretary of the WSDOT Toll Division, will be on hand at Mercer Island City Hall to share I-90 toll information, in addition to presenting information on the I-90 Two-Way Transit Project and Sound Transit East Link Light Rail Transit Project.
At the end of January, WSDOT will also be hosting 3 public meetings. These meetings are a precursor to the environmental assessment the WSDOT will be conducting, as required by the National Environmental Protection Act. Per the WSDOT, “The end result of the I-90 environmental assessment will be a report that consists of a technical evaluation and social and economic review of tolling on I-90.”
If you would like to attend these public meetings, below is the schedule, with meeting places, dates and times.
- Mercer Island Community Center Jan. 29 (4pm-7pm) 8236 Southeast 24th Street Mercer Island, WA 98040
- Bellevue City Hall Jan. 30 (4pm-7pm) 450 110th Ave NE, Bellevue, Washington 98004
- Yesler Community Center Jan. 31 (4pm-7pm) 917 East Yesler Way Seattle, WA 98122 (construction on East Yesler Way – please access parking from Washington St.)
According to a Bellevue Patch article, WSDOT Tolls Division spokesperson Colleen Gants indicated that input received from the public helps guide the environmental assessment, and could provide some influence on its conclusions. “For example, we don’t know yet where we would place the toll gantry,” in the I-90 corridor, said Gants. “We are looking at that whole stretch of roadway.”
The public is also welcome to send information requests and comments to I90study@wsdot.Wa.Gov, or call Michelle Moutin at (206) 464-1249.
The possibility of initiating a toll on the I-90 Floating Bridge has been considered in Olympia for the past 5 years. Last year, the state legislature tapped WSDOT to initiate a review the issue. The current push behind the possible toll is needed funding for the completion of renovations to the 520 Floating Bridge. The state is short about $1.4 billion to finish the work on State Route 520.
What are your thoughts about a potential toll on I-90’s Floating Bridge?