One Washington City Considers Local Bridge Toll

Oct 19, 2012

There’s a lot of talk these days about tolls to pay for new state highway projects and bridges. Most drivers reluctantly pay up. But some will go miles out of their way to avoid a toll. That can clog local roads. Now one small Washington city is considering a toll of its own.

The city of Kenmore sits at the north tip of Seattle’s Lake Washington. Ever since the state slapped tolls on the 520 floating bridge, city manager Rob Karlinsey says his town has noticed an uptick in traffic.

“We’re seeing about a 10 to 12 percent increase on SR 522,” he says.

That’s a state highway that runs through Kenmore. Traffic is also heavier over a pair of city-owned bridges, one of which is very old and in need of replacement.

But how to pay for a new bridge? Karlinsey says one idea under consideration is a local bridge toll.

“What the city council is looking at is even a differential tolling rate where Kenmore residents would pay a very low toll or even no toll and folks from outside the city would pay a toll probably in the neighborhood of 50 cents to $1.”

The idea is still in the early stages. And ultimately it would require approval from Kenmore voters. And probably also the state.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

On the Web:

City of Kenmore Tolling Proposal

Map of Kenmore, Wash. (Google Maps)