Thursday marked the first day that a toll fee would be required to cross the 520 freeway bridge in Washington State. The heavily traveled bridge spans across Lake Washington and connects Seattle to the Eastside communities.
According to The Seattle Times, a $3.50 toll fee will be charged to motorists who cross the bridge during peak hours.
There are no toll booths on the bridge. Instead, a pass mounted on the driver's windshield will be electronically scanned as the motorist crosses the bridge, according to the WSDOT website. The new Good to Go! pass can be purchased by drivers and loaded with funds which are deducted every time the pass is scanned. Those who attempt to cross the bridge without a pass will be sent a bill in the mail when their license plate is traced.
Drivers who wish to avoid the fees altogether still have the option of crossing the I-90 bridge which still has no toll. Drivers can also make the long trek around the lake and avoid crossing either bridge.
On the first day of tolling, there was some heavier congestion on the I-90 bridge by drivers who were trying to bypass the toll, although the real test will be determined when everyone has returned to town after the holiday season has concluded.
King 5 News reports that the first person to cross the bridge when the toll first went into effect at 5 am Thursday morning was a 24-year-old man named Cody Johnson. He was trying to beat the toll when he noticed a new sign stating that the toll rate was $1.60, the rate for off-peak hours.
Toll fees will not be charged to drivers who travel the bridge after 11 pm.