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TUESDAY: Narrows Bridge Citizen Advisory Committee To Discuss Toll Rate Changes

The committee is reportedly considering an increase of 50 cents over the next two years.

  • WHAT: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Citizen Advisory Committee
  • WHEN: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 5.
  • WHERE: Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview St.
  • WHAT ELSE: The committee will discuss toll increases

Would you be happy paying 50 cents more to cross Narrows Bridge?

Well, that's what the committee tasked with helping recommend toll rates to the state is reportedly considering.

The News Tribune's Christian Hill is reporting that it's unclear whether an increase, if approved, would take place all at once or be spread over two years, but the goal is to generate enough money to pay the bridge's debt payments.

So we ask you, Gig Harbor Patch users, how would a 50-cent-per-trip increase affect your commute? Should the state increase the toll all at once or spread it out over two years? Tell us in the comments below.

Randy Boss February 04, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Lets be clear here.....There is no need to increase tolls in order to cover costs or "debt payments. Tolls are "sufficient" to pay all the costs associated with the operation of the bridge, The toll increase LAST YEAR brought the balance of the reserve fund to more than $10 Million. The problem is that there is no legal authority to establish this illegal "reserve fund." If the Transportation Commission just goes home and leaves us alone - after we toll payers pay all of the bills on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge with the current toll rates we'll still have $10,340,000 in this illegal reserve fund as of July 1, 2013. DOT numbers - not mine! If the DOT just leaves us alone we'll have $7,467,000 in that illegal fund on July 1, 2014 and $2,753,000 on July 1, 2015. Remember, this is after we toll payers pay all the bills with the CURRENT TOLL RATE CILLECTIONS. 14,000,000 million paid tolls annually on the Narrows Bridge x $0.50 each equals another $7,000,000.00 million more siphoned out of our economy in the middle of a recession for what? TO FUND AN ILLEGAL RESERVE? WHY? You should ask the DOT on Tuesday..... Randy Boss (253) 279-8877
Jay White February 04, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Great post Randy, WSDOT continues to wander in the forest of continued reliance on "consultants" that they have hand picked to "see things their way". We don't need this fat illegal "reserve". It just gives WSDOT a slush fund to tap on other failed projects because their "consultants" can't fathom the realities of the human element; people will reduce their trips over the bridge in direct proportion to the illegal toll increases levied. This is not rocket science, it's family budget economics 101.
Rebecca February 04, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Thank you Randy!! Stop taking our money.
JT February 04, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Thank You Jay and Randy! I have always said two things about tolls, once the door is opend for tolls there will be no end in sight of the dollar amountor where tolls will be added. The WSDOT has from the very beginning of tolls on the Narrows has treated that as a slush fund/cash cow, we just do not know what is actual expenses for the Bridge.
Mark Bando February 04, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Well said Jay & Randy! This is ridiculous their even considering raising the toll AGAIN! As a single father raising my daughters my budget is stretched to it's maximum. I pay the toll 6x's weekly heading to work so no I would not be happy paying anymore....! Mark
Reaganart February 04, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Why nickel and dime us...? Just raise it to $25 and get it over with. Going to get there eventually anyway...
Michael February 04, 2013 at 07:56 PM
The toll should fund the expense of the bridge, which is very nice thank you, no more - no less. It is disturbing what JT said, "We don't know the exact cost of the bridge". Why should that be so hard to arrive at? Unless they are fleecing us.....hey! Wait a minute........
Damon Adams February 04, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Trending of irresponsibility at WSDOT, they won't be happy until all major roadways have a toll on them! Scary
Melissa Dixon February 04, 2013 at 10:47 PM
I would need to look for work in Tacoma. I pay $4.00 a day just in tolls just to come to work. I could not afford to pay any more.
Danielle Reed February 04, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Because the last meeting did sooo much good didn't it? They still jacked the tolls up to $4.00 a pop for GTG (subsequently the highest toll hike went to those responsible enough to maintain an account to pay for them ahead of time) and less than a year later they are going to raise it again? When does this end? Is there some misconception that people on the peninsula can pay endless tolls as they keep pushing it higher and higher? I already quit going to Tacoma and I only travel across the bridge to go to work and at $20 a week plus gas. I am at the point where I am going to look for a place elsewhere and then the community can lose my revenue - sounds like a lousy trade off doesn't it? Here's a concept WSDOT, don't build an additional bridge if you can't afford to pay for it.. I mean honestly other tolls set up on the 520 have a tiered system, why do we have to not only have a flat rate but a flat rate that continually keeps going up.
JB February 05, 2013 at 02:48 AM
The amount we are paying to cross the bridge has an affect on all families. It is an every day charge that adds up and has to be budgeted into our living expenses. I really hope that someone is not taking advantage of those of us who "have to" travel everyday to make a living, knowing we will have to pay the toll or not go to work. It is sad. How can we as Gig Harbor citizens, who love to support our city have a true say in these decisions?
South Hill Night Out.com February 05, 2013 at 06:13 AM
Thank You DOT. With the high toll rate you have force people to stay on the other side of the bridge( gig Harbor side). How we are getting the developers to build Stores and offices building we needed for growth in our areas. I no longer need to go to Tacoma for work or shopping! You have saved me over a $100.00 a month in toll cost!
Gig K February 05, 2013 at 06:26 AM
I am chuckling listening to the King County folks "whine" about paying tolls on the 520 and I-90 bridges. I guess it's finally time for the Seattle elite to pay their fair share of bridge tolls...
Harborite February 05, 2013 at 02:04 PM
I wish someone would explan to me why the bonds can't be refinanced...interest rates are so low, there is no good reason not be be paying the lower rates.
Rebecca February 05, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Good point and Gh is experience growth!! But my husband has to do the toll daily like thousands of others. It hurts us middle income people. Lower the pass toll and make up the difference to those who don't have a pass. Cap tolls NOW!!!
Thomas Hansen February 05, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Typical government. Once they find a revenue source, they never give it up. Dollars to donuts once the bridge loans are eventually paid off, they will up with another idea to keep their cash cow fat. They will create a user fee to pay for future maintenance will be their gimmick I bet.
MAC EN February 06, 2013 at 12:30 AM
MC Unless more people take a stand together the government is going to continue to skin us one layer at a time like an onion until there is nothing left but a dried up ole peel...
Korbett Mosesly February 08, 2013 at 11:39 PM
What slush fund/ cash cow, are you referring too? The revenue is going to pay back the debt for building a $730 million dollar bridge.
Korbett Mosesly February 08, 2013 at 11:43 PM
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge project was financed with debt payments that rise over time, requiring additional toll revenue. That original plan assumed an average toll rate increase of $1 every three years until reaching a maximum of $6. We still have to pay back the bonds that paid for the $730 bridge. Bottom line that is where the money goes.
Lynn Elliott February 10, 2013 at 09:02 AM
Some excellent points and questions, Danielle! To whom do we go to get them answered accurately and honestly?

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