520 Tolls

WSDOT image

Even as its construction is well underway, design plans for the new 520 bridge across Lake Washington continue to spark controversy.

A federal judge will hear oral arguments tomorrow in a lawsuit against the replacement project by the State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.

WSDOT photo / Flickr

Tolling rates are going up on the 520 bridge this Sunday, in the first of four annual rate hikes. The 2.5%  increase will add about an extra dime to peak fees. It comes 6 months after tolling began on the bridge between Seattle and the east side.

The peak toll on the Highway 520 floating bridge that began at $3.50 at the end of last year will rise to $4.35 in 2016 after a series of scheduled increases.

Associated Press

The Washington Transportation Department says drivers are gradually returning to the Highway 520 floating bridge since tolling was imposed in late December.

Tolling spokeswoman Patty Michaud said Friday the bridge that handled about 100,000 vehicles a day now typically handles 60,000 to 65,000. Traffic had dropped by nearly half when tolling went into effect.

An electrical glitch caused the new toll system on the Highway 520 bridge to malfunction Tuesday morning, meaning drivers crossed the span for hours without being charged.

If you drove the 520 floating bridge in the past few weeks without a Good To Go pass, expect a bill to come in the mail soon.  The State Department of Transportation sent out 19,000 bills to drivers that will arrive this week.

That might seem like a lot, but it’s a number far less than officials expected.

WSDOT photo

Today is the first big day for car commuters since automatic tolling went live on the 520 bridge across Lake Washington.

It’s viewed as the start of the first really meaningful data-set for people who crunch numbers behind the scenes of the State Department of Transportation.

So far, the commute has pushed traffic to the south, with the I-90 bridge seeing more congestion … and more room created on 520, where drivers now have to pay to cross.

Associated Press

On the first day of the post-holiday commute, Washington transportation officials say traffic is down significantly on the 520 bridge.

They say about 37 percent fewer drivers than normal crossed the 520 bridge between 6 and 7 a.m. this morning.

Bellamy Pailthorp photo / KPLU News

Tomorrow (Thursday, 12-29-11), electronic tolls will kick in on the 520 bridge across lake Washington.

A series of technical glitches caused multiple past delays.  But now, the reader boards are going live and billing drivers on the most popular route between Seattle and the east side.

There are many creative ways to get around the tolls, but you’re bound to have to pay, sooner or later.

Courtesy Zach Lewis / theseattlesalmon.com

Get ready for tolling charges on the 520 bridge.

The state department of transportation will be flipping a virtual switch one week from today.

That means now is a really good time to set up a Good to Go account online – or face more expensive travel.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

Tolling on the 520 Bridge will start at 5 am on December 29th.

That’s the word from the state Department of Transportation, after multiple glitches that have delayed the system till now.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

The Washington Transportation Department says tolling on the Highway 520 floating bridge will begin at 5 a.m. on Dec. 29.


It’s not yet clear exactly when, but sometime in December, the state Department of Transportation is due to start collecting tolls on the 520 Bridge.

Cities along the northern edge of Lake Washington have been bracing themselves for the change. 

Statewide initiatives on the Washington ballot have many people here still studying up and wondering how to vote. Registered voters have about a week left to make up their minds. Two of the most talked about issues are whether to get rid of state-run liquor stores and on how highway tolls can be spent. A survey of voters, done by researchers at the University of Washington, offers some insight into what voters might decide after all the votes are tallied.

The statewide Washington Poll, put together by UW political science Professor Matt Barreto, says the liquor privatization measure, I-1183, will likely pass because it has the hit the crucial tipping point of 50 percent. Barreto's poll says only 43 percent of those surveyed opposed the measure.

Northwest News Network

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Usually, high dollar political contributors let their money do the talking. They write big checks to campaigns, but otherwise stay behind the scenes. Not so with Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman. He’s become the money and the mouth behind Tim Eyman’s latest initiative – to limit highway tolling.

WSDOT photo

Get ready to pay if you drive on the floating bridge across Lake Washington. The state Department of Transportation has announced the much-delayed tolls on the 520 bridge will start in December.

Tolling on the bridge was originally set to begin this spring, then that was bumped to this summer. Now, the state says the all-electronic system will be up and running four months from now. 


People who drive over the State Route 520 floating bridge will likely have a few more months before tolls kick in. The latest estimate of when charges would begin is now August, but the Washington State Department of Transportation won't commit to a date.

The new system has faced a string of delays. It was originally scheduled to be up and running in April. Then it was pushed back to June. Then late July. 

Aeter / Flickr

While it's a good idea to be prepared, sometimes it's good not to move too fast. 

Apparently there are glitches in the state's new "Good to Go" tolling system.  The State Department of Transportation says it will revamp the sign-up process after complaints by frustrated motorists trying to buy transponders online.  As Mike Lindblom reports in The Seattle Times:


Tolls on the old 520 bridge across Lake Washington are coming soon--likely starting in April.

It's an all-electronic system, so there won't be an option to just throw some coins into a box. You'll need a special pass on the windshield of your car. The price of driving over the floating span between Seattle and Bellevue will vary, depending on the time of day.  

State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond put on a happy face as she reminded folks to get ready to pay as much as $3.50 each way at the height of rush hour.

WSDOT / Flickr

Tolls on the 520 bridge are set to start this spring and they could be as high as $3.50 each way. 

Frustrated?  There's an app for that. 

An Irish company called Avego created a new smart phone app for "real-time ride sharing." Company leaders say it encourages more carpooling. 


Tolls costing $7 for a peak-period round-trip are coming to the highway-520 floating bridge across Lake Washington.  The tolls, approved Wednesday night, will pay for a new, wider bridge – although that bridge won’t open until 2014, at the earliest.   


The state will investigate Seattle police actions; a faster 520 for commuters; and bridge toll plan under fire.