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News / Business / Clark County Business

Interstate 5 Bridge tolling scenarios: Low-income program, weekend rates and heavy truck tolls

Panel discusses options; tolling will help cover the bridge's $5 billion to $7.5 billion price tag

By Dylan Jefferies, Columbian staff writer
Published: May 23, 2024, 5:30pm

Construction on a new Interstate 5 Bridge is expected to begin in early 2026, and tolling will help cover the $5 billion to $7.5 billion price tag.

But the details are still being decided.

A bistate tolling subcommittee has been meeting once a month since February to craft tolling recommendations for the full transportation commissions, which will ultimately set the toll rates and policies in 2025.

The subcommittee held its fourth meeting Thursday to discuss a range of possible tolling scenarios, some of which include a low-income toll program, weekend rates and heavy truck tolls.

One-way toll rates will range from $1.50 to $3.55 with higher prices during peak travel times. Tolling is expected to raise $1.24 billion for construction and will provide revenue for bridge maintenance and operations.

Officials also discussed how toll operations will be incorporated into the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Good to Go! electronic toll system.

The bridge replacement program published a traffic and revenue study in November that examined different tolling scenarios, and another investment-grade traffic and revenue study from mid-2024 through the end of 2025 will help the subcommittee craft its recommendations.

The subcommittee will continue to meet this summer to narrow down options before bringing recommendations to the full Oregon and Washington transportation commissions for further analysis.

On Sept. 30 or Oct. 1, the full commissions will meet to consider the recommendations of the subcommittee.

The subcommittee will then develop and recommend two or more toll-rate scenarios for public input in the winter or spring of 2025. The public input process will include in-person meetings, surveys and more.

The full commission will consider the subcommittee’s final recommendations and public input when adopting toll rates and policies in the summer of 2025. The rates will likely be implemented by early 2026.

The next subcommittee meeting will be June 21.

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