The Washington State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) plan to conduct a series of meetings in Bellevue, Mercer Island and Seattle between now and Nov. 6 to collect public input on whether tolling as well as state or regional taxes, mileage fees, or federal funding should be used to fund new highway capacity.
The Washington Legislature directed the Washington DOT (WSDOT) to study the tolling of Interstate 90 between Interstate 5 in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue as a way to relieve congestion across Lake Washington as well as to help fund a portion of the State Route 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV program. The state said it needs $1.4 billion to complete the projects.
During the next 30 days, WSDOT is scheduled to host three public outreach meetings:
- Thursday, Oct. 10, Bellevue College cafeteria, 3000 Landerholm Circle S.E., Bellevue, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- Monday, Oct. 21, Mercer Island High School commons, 9100 S.E. 42nd St., Mercer Island, 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, Oct. 23, Northwest African American Museum, 2300 S Massachusetts St., Seattle, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
The public can sign up to speak beginning at 10 a.m. three business days prior to each meeting. Online signup will close at 10 a.m. the day of the meeting. Attendees may also sign up on a first-come, first-served basis at the start of each meeting.
The public also may submit comments by email or by mail to: Angela Angove, 999 Third Ave., Suite 2200, Seattle, WA 98104. Mailed comments must be postmarked by Nov. 6, 2013, when the comment period officially ends.
FHWA and WSDOT will conduct another 30-day comment period after it publishes its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in spring 2014. The final EIS is scheduled to be complete in early 2015.
More information can be found on the WSDOT website.
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