Tunnel traffic down 20% on first workday with tolls

SEATTLE — On the first workday of tolls in the new State Route 99 tunnel, state transportation officials measured a 20% drop in morning tunnel traffic compared to an average Tuesday.

That's less of a drop than they were expecting, but one day is not enough to sense a trend.

In the coming weeks, city officials plan to collect traffic data on downtown streets and SR 99 off-ramps to figure out how many drivers are changing routes to avoid the tolls.

Tolls on the new tunnel started Saturday, but with Veterans Day on Monday, the first regular commute came Tuesday.

Tolls range from $1 to $2.25, depending on the time of day.

During the afternoon drive, tunnel traffic moved swiftly.

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