Politics & Government

Panel backs toll increase on Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge would be upped to $3.25 for drivers with transponders and $5 for those who pay cash under a recommendation made Thursday on a 4-3 vote of the Washington State Transportation Commission.

The proposed rate increase followed the advice of State Treasurer James McIntire, who wants toll rates to eventually generate revenue equaling 110 percent of the bridge’s debt costs as a safeguard against events that might lower traffic volumes and toll revenue. Both the commission and the citizens board agree on the $1 increase for cash-paying drivers.

Now the advisory group has 20 days to hold public hearings and respond to the Transportation Commission’s findings. Changes won’t take effect until July 1.