State proposes new toll rates on SR 99 Tunnel, Tacoma Narrows Bridge

The state has proposed how much toll rates will increase on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the SR 99 Tunnel this year.

For the SR 99 Tunnel, a uniform increase of 15% was proposed, which would mean an increase of $0.15 cents to $0.35 cents, depending on the time of day.

For the SR 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge, a $0.25 cent increase was proposed. The Washington State Transportation Commission said the rate increase is expected to be the final increase from 2021 to 2030, assuming the Legislature continues to provide loans as planned.

There will be further public comment for the proposed toll rates through mid-August.

On Aug. 24, the WSTC will hold a public hearing to adopt final toll rates.

Once decided, the new toll rates would go into effect on Oct. 1.

The tolls will be raised to offset a lack of traffic during the pandemic, when not enough funds were coming in.

There will not be a toll rate increase on the SR 520 bridge this year, but the WSTC said a rate increase is needed in 2023 as the region continues to recover from the pandemic. A 15% tailored increase is proposed for July 1, 2023.

According to the WSTC, from March 2020 to March 2021, traffic on the SR 520 Bridge was 54% below normal and there is an estimated $53 million the state has missed out on collecting.