State lawmakers say before tolls can be added to the Interstate 90 floating bridge, transportation officials have to dig deeper into the impact it will cause.
The possibility of tolling I-90 has come up, in part, due to decreased traffic on the State Route 520 Bridge after tolling began there in 2011.
The Department of Transportation was studying the possible effects of putting a toll on the I-90 bridge, but critics say that’s not good enough.
The recently passed transportation budget now includes a requirement that WSDOT do an environmental impact statement and look beyond the I-90 corridor when considering whether to add a toll.
It’s something Mercer Island Mayor Bruce Bassett has been pushing for.
"Tolling I-90 to pay for 520 is not an equitable way to get to the funding need they have for 520. We'd like to look at other options,” said Bassett.
King County and several cities wrote a letter to WSDOT and the Puget Sound Regional Council last week, calling the state’s approach to tolling “piecemeal” and suggesting that a new task force be created to look at tools in the region.