SEATTLE -- After a full year of tolling, WSDOT reports much higher than expected income and traffic on Interstate 405.
WSDOT officials will present the report to the state transportation commission Wednesday, which is expected to show toll revenue is 300% higher than projected.
According to the report, gross toll revenue was $17.5 million. Initial projections were $5.5 million. Total gross revenue was $21.6 million, which includes other income such as sales of 'Good to Go!' passes, reprocessing fees and civil penalties.
By law, revenues after expenses must be put back into I-405 for improvements. Operating costs were approximately $8 million.
The transportation commission has the authority to adjust toll rates.
Drivers took 10.1 million tolled trips and another 4.4 million free trips as carpoolers in the first year. Because of rapid growth on the eastside, WSDOT says demand for I-405 is higher than expected, but overall drive times have improved with the creation of express lane tolling.
Rep. Mark Harmsworth (R-Mill Creek) says he already plans to try again in the next legislative session to introduce a bill that would end I-405 tolling and revert to a 2-plus carpool system. A similar bill was introduced in the last session but never made it to the governor's desk.