New toll rates for the State Route 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge take effect at midnight on July 1. The change reflects the next rate increases approved by the Washington State Transportation Commission last year to ensure the bridge generates enough revenue to cover costs required under law, including maintenance, operations and debt payments, according to Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) officials.
The transportation commission scheduled this July’s rate increase in May 2013, as part of a two-year phased increase. The commission reviewed Tacoma Narrows Bridge traffic and revenue data this past fall and winter to verify the increase is needed to cover operational costs and debt payments. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was financed such that debt payments were low in the early years and rise over time. This means tolls must continue to increase to pay back construction debt, according to WSDOT officials. The debt is scheduled to be paid off in 2030.
More information is available online at wsdot.wa.gov.