I received the following memo from WSDOT this week. We are entering the phase of finalizing the funding plan for the Western landing for 520. One of the options is tolling I-90 to pay for the remaining $1.4 billion in work to be done.
We currently have enough money in the budget to connect the 6-lane bridge to Montlake, but not go all the way to I-5, and the Westbound connection from Montlake to Foster Island is somewhat crippled. The decision to move forward with construction of the floating and Eastside portions has saved a tremendous amount of money over waiting, and has pushed the decision forward so that the bridge will actually get done.
Leaving the 520 bridge in this partially-complete stage would be disastrous – the traffic congestion from the merge would be painful and we would not get the throughput we want. Seattle would not get the mitigation it wants.
Tolling I-90 is not the desired option, but it’s our backup plan and we’re doing the study. The memo is about ways to have input, should you so desire. There is a meeting on Thursday October 10th you may be interested in as well.