On December 29, 2011, the SR 520 floating bridge officially became a tolled bridge.
“Today marks a major milestone for the state,” said Toll Division Director Craig Stone of the Washington State Department of Transportation. Tolls collected will help pay for a new floating bridge scheduled to open in late 2014.
Tolling on the SR 520 “floating” bridge is expected to raise $1 billion toward the $4.625 billion replacement of the SR 520 bridge that was built in 1963. The new bridge will better manage storms and move more people safely across the Lake Washington with a new transit/HOV lane for buses and carpools in each direction. The target date to open the new bridge to commuters is December 2014.
About Tolling on SR 520 – How Do I Pay?
(1) Activating the “Good To Go” account will be the best option for commuters traveling to Seattle from King County’s Eastside. CLICK HERE for all of the information you need to set-up/activate your “Good to Go” pass.
(2) Drivers can cross the bridge with a photo-toll rate of a $1.50 more than the “Good to Go” rate each way. This Pay By Mail option uses a license-plate identification system and mails a bill to the vehicle’s registered owner for the highest current toll rate each time the vehicle crosses the bridge.
(3) You can purchase a $5 pass or other pass options at Safeway, Costco, Fred Meyer or Walgreens, or visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo.
SR 520 Daily Toll Rates
The following rates apply if you have the “Good to Go” pass. Remember, if you do not have the “Good to Go” pass, you will pay $1.50 more than the going rate.
5am – 6am = $1.60
6am – 7am = $2.80
7am – 9am = $3.50
9am – 3pm = $2.00 (range)
3pm – 6pm = $3.50 (range)
11pm – 5am = FREE (no toll required)
*** Add $1.50 charge on top of the above-mentioned fees if you do NOT have “Good to Go” pass
Is It Worth Trying To Avoid Paying Toll?
Traffic engineers say there are 3 options to avoid paying the SR 520 Toll. Is it worth it? You decide:
OPTION 1: I-90 route – adds 16 miles and 22+ minutes to commute
OPTION 2: Back roads around lake – adds 29 miles and 45+ minutes to commute
OPTION 3: I-5 route – adds 30 miles and 40+ minutes to commute
What Will It REALLY Cost To Avoid Paying the Toll?
In comparing the actual costs of paying the Toll during the above-mentioned times with gas costs/per gallon, this may help you better determine your next route across (or around) Lake Washington…
In A 2009 Honda Civic (gets 28 miles per gallon)
– I-90 route costs approx. $2.00
– Surface streets around the lake costs approx. $3.41
– I-5 route will cost approx. $3.60
In A 2010 Ford F-150 4×4 p/u (gets 16 miles per gallon)
– I-90 route costs approx. $3.41
– Surface streets around the lake costs approx. $6.15
– I-5 route will cost approx. $6.30
In A 2011 Toyota Prius (gets 46 miles per gallon)
– I-90 route costs approx. $1.00
– Surface streets around the lake costs approx. $2.04
– I-5 route will cost approx. $2.21
CONCLUSION – Unless you are getting 26+ miles per gallon, and can budget a minimum of 30+ minutes of additional commute time, get the “Good to Go” pass and support a safer, quicker way across beautiful Lake Washington in 2014.
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Other Helpful Links:
Special thanks for KING 5 News for their coverage on the 520 Bridge Toll fees.
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