Senator Steve O'Ban Bill Freezing Tacoma Narrows Toll Rates

O'Ban bill freezing Tacoma Narrows toll rates heard

Feb 6, 2018 - 06:37 PM

A bill sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, to freeze toll rates on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was heard yesterday afternoon before the state’s Senate Transportation Committee.

Currently, the bridge’s debt service is funded without drawing from any state tax dollars; because of this, construction costs, interest payments and other such costs are taken directly from toll payments to the bridge.

Senate Bill 6547 would keep the rates flat and instead borrow state transportation funds to cover costs of rising debt payments and operating costs. The bill would set up a series of loans to cover the debt payments and costs from 2020-2030.

If it passes, it is expected that the toll rate for Good To Go! users would remain at $5.50.

“This presents a genuine opportunity to solve the ever-increasing toll rates on the bridge and keep more money in the pockets of residents who depend on this critical transportation artery,” said O’Ban on his website last week. “Tolls have increased dramatically and are scheduled to continue increasing under current law. With this legislation, it will be like refinancing an adjustable rate mortgage that is going up every year and converting it into an affordable, fixed rate mortgage.”

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