Local

Heads up drivers! After months of debate, state OKs $15 tolls on I-405, SR 167

OLYMPIA, Wash. — If you take the Interstate 405 or the State Route 167 toll lanes between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m., you may be in for a shock.

The Washington State Transportation Commission approved a $15 maximum for both the I-405 express toll lanes and the SR 167 high occupancy toll lanes from Auburn to Lynnwood on Monday.

The changes will take effect on March 1 and the money will go toward improving the roadway.

Currently, a trip during peak times costs $10 on I-405 and $9 on SR-167.

The dynamic pricing will increase when the lane reaches capacity so speeds can be maintained.

“They are designed to operate as dynamic tolling facilities, and that said, the commission goes about setting a minimum toll rate and a maximum toll rate,” said Deputy Director Carl See.

Even though officials say this change is necessary, not all drivers think it’s fair.

“I don’t think it’s fair because you know a lot of people we go through a lot of hard times right now and I mean it is a lot,” said driver Luis Macias. “I’m not happy about it but like I say, there’s nothing I can do.”

Others are choosing to wait and see how the tolls affect them before making a decision.

“I’ll just have to see what the bill looks like at the end of the month,” said driver Eric Halgren. “I’ll have to take a look and then we’ll go from there.”

According to the WSTC, the toll rates have not been raised since they were set on SR 167 more than 15 years ago, and more than 8 years ago on I-405.