Bridge toll rates close to being set

The Washington State Transportation Commission on Monday passed a proposal setting a reduced rate for cars using transponders on the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The commission suggested a $3 toll for vehicles paying cash, and a $1.75 toll for those with a Good To Go! electronic transponder.

In addition, the members decided to allow local law enforcement and local emergency service providers to cross the bridge for free when responding to or returning from emergency calls.

Non-emergency trips would be tolled, but Washington State Patrol vehicles whose patrol area includes the State Route 16 and TNB would not have to pay tolls when crossing the span.

The TNB Citizen Advisory Committee submitted their recommendations to the commission prior to the board formulating the toll rates, and committee members now have 20 days -- until May 20 -- to review and comment on the rate proposal.

Public comment is also now being collected, and the commission will hold a meeting later this month to allow citizens to offer input in person.

The meeting is scheduled for May 22 at 4:30 p.m. at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview Street. No formal action will be taken.

The final action accepting the proposed toll rates is expected to occur on June 5, also in Gig Harbor.

The public is invited to attend and give comments on the proposal before the commission votes.

The June hearing will also be held at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, in the council chambers, from 1 to 3 p.m. If enacted, the rates would become effective July 5.

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