Your opinion counts: congestion-pricing proposal for future I-5 bridge

| 9/18/2009

Officials in the states of Washington and Oregon want to learn more about who uses the I-5 bridge that connects the two states and what people would be willing to pay to cross a new structure when it is eventually built.

A survey published by the Columbia River Crossing planning team asks whether people would support variable toll rates, also known as congestion pricing, as part of a plan to pay for the bridge and manage congestion.

With congestion pricing, toll rates would be higher during peak traffic times and lower during non-peak times to have the greatest effect.

Officials have scheduled a public meeting to discuss the project and early poll results. The meeting is scheduled at 6-8 p.m., Oct. 1, at the Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Hall D, Portland, OR.

Final plans for the bridge and possible toll rates could be in front of the Washington and Oregon state legislatures as soon as next year.

The bridge connecting Vancouver, WA, and Portland, OR, is slated to cost between $3.1 billion and $4.2 billion. Officials say congestion and collision rates in the bridge area are getting worse.

Tolling has emerged as a potential funding mechanism as well as federal, state and local resources.

Take a minute to complete the short survey by clicking here.

The public may also submit feedback by e-mail; by phone at 360-737-2726 or 503-256-2726; by fax at 360-737-0294; or in writing to 700 Washington St., Suite 300, Vancouver, WA 98660.

The official project Web site is

– By David Tanner, staff writer