Bill to allow 520 bridge tolls clears House, goes to Gregoire
The state has moved one step closer to placing tolls on the existing Evergreen Point floating bridge to raise money to replace the Highway 520 span. Legislation that allows for early tolling of the bridge cleared the Legislature Saturday, with the House voting to send the bill to Gov. Chris Gregoire.
The state has moved one step closer to placing tolls on the existing Highway 520 floating bridge to raise money to replace the span.
Legislation that allows for early tolling of the bridge cleared the Legislature on Saturday, with the House voting 52-43 to send the bill to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature. The Senate had approved the measure earlier.
Gregoire said she will sign it into law.
The measure, House Bill 2211, lets the state Transportation Commission decide when to collect tolls on the bridge and for how much.
Gregoire said that passing the bill will enable the Washington State Department of Transportation to begin constructing a site in Grays Harbor to build the pontoons needed for the floating portion of the bridge.
The existing bridge is considered vulnerable to collapsing in an earthquake or being swamped in a heavy storm.
The bill also calls for creating a study group to develop a finance plan for the project and sets the cost at $4.65 billion. It also requires the study group to look at design options for the east and west sides of the bridge.
There's no mention in the bill of Option K, a proposal for an interchange on the west side of Lake Washington that includes a tunnel under the Montlake Cut to move traffic between the freeway and the University of Washington. But the bill doesn't preclude that option, either.
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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