Hefty tolls considered for Highway 2 trestle

Drivers could pay up to $6.30 one way.

Tolls could be coming to pay for a new Highway 2 trestle.

Traffic on the trestle has become so bad it is now known by a different name.

"We call it the stressle," said Allison Seed with a laugh.

Seed of Lake Stevens avoids the "stressle" as much as she can and describes the traffic with one word: "Terrible!"

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The trestle connects Interstate 5 and Everett to the rapidly growing communities of Lake Stevens, Snohomish, and Marysville.

On a bad day it can take up to half an hour to cross the just two-mile span.

Replacing the trestle would cost an estimated $600 million.

But how to pay for it?

You only have to look about 25 miles south to see what might be coming down the road.

"I hadn't even heard anything about tolls so that shocks me," said Seed.

Tolls are one option currently being considered.

How much? Up to $6.30 one way, according to State Rep. Mark Harmsworth, R-44th District.

"I was shocked," he said.

Harmsworth believes the state should find a different way to pay for the replacement, because there are few other options for drivers. Those options are mainly getting to I-5 through the already congested streets of Marysville or taking surface streets south through Mill Creek.

"This is a lot of money," said Harmsworth. "They're going after the families that are just trying to make it each day. They just can't afford it."

Any tolls would have to be approved by the legislature. More information is expected about the funding plan when a full report is given to lawmakers on January 8.