The state Legislature has authorized $4.65 billion (yes, that’s billion), including $1.6 billion from the latest gas tax increase, for the SR-520 bridge replacement project across Lake Washington. They proudly stated that they are expecting to generate $1.2 billion in toll revenue to help pay the final project cost.
That $1.2 billion is only 26.32 percent of the cost. The toll payers using the Tacoma Narrows Bridge have been strapped with 100 percent cost payback through tolls by the worst bond package ever sold by the state. How much of the recent gas tax increase (that we also have to pay) was dedicated to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge? Zero.
We were promised the gas tax increase was going to finally pay for completing the SR-167 connector to the Port of Tacoma. But it was a bait-and-switch from the DOT. They just announced it is actually going to be one of their new toll road projects.
State Sen. Bruce Dammeier (R-25th) from Puyallup is one of the few people in Olympia that understands the impact tolls have on our economy and the hard-working people of Pierce County—that’s why I’m supporting Bruce as our next Pierce County Executive. He has the plan and the experience to use the bully pulpit as our county executive to work with Olympia to bring some meaningful relief to toll payers in Pierce County.