PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Washington lawmakers talked about plans to fund transportation projects in the state Thursday that includes funding for the Interstate 5 bridge replacement.
The latest cost estimate for the bridge is $6 billion – and about a quarter of that will come from tolls.
Fred Meyer’s Charlie Brown spoke in Olympia about how important this project is, calling it “a lifeline for commerce.”
“We use it every day to drive all the dairy products for Fred Meyer stores and QFC stores throughout the state of Washington, so your continued commitment to that is very much appreciated,” Brown said.
Washington and Oregon’s Department of Transportation say $1.25-1.6 billion will come from tolls. Those tolls will be collected through sensors and cameras like they are in the Seattle area.
As for what that will mean for each driver, scenarios currently show a range of $1.50 to $3.55 depending on the time of day, costing more when traffic is heavier.
Officials say tolling may begin before the construction is finished.
The question remains whether tolls will be on both the I-5 bridge and Interstate 205 to keep drivers from diverting around the tolls.
The interstate bridge project spokesman told KOIN 6 that they are only considering tolling the I-5 bridge and are not looking at implementing tolling on I-205. However, he said ODOT is studying tolling on I-5 and on I-205 up to the Glenn Jackson Bridge in Oregon.