Issaquah residents are being encouraged by city officials to make their voices heard in shaping a WSDOT study that will assess the potential environmental and social effects of tolling I-90 across Lake Washington.
WSDOT’s public comment period began on Tuesday, Jan. 22 for proposed tolling of I-90 and ends on Friday, Feb. 22. Comments can be submitted directly to WSDOT online.
In addition, Issaquah’s mayor and City Council are drafting a letter to WSDOT on Issaquah’s perspective related to tolling I-90. Before sending a final version of the letter, the council is holding a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 in Council Chambers at 135 E. Sunset Way.
The state Legislature directed the Washington State Department of Transportation to conduct an environmental assessment of the potential effects of tolling I-90 as a way to generate revenue for the State Route 520 bridge replacement. The SR 520 bridge project has a funding gap of approximately $1.4 billion. Public comments will help determine the “scope” or range of issues covered in the assessment.
For more information, visit WSDOT online.
An online open house for public comment is available at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/tolling/i90/onlinescoping. Those interested may also submit comments by e-mail at: I90EAcomments@wsdot.wa.gov, or traditional mail to: Angela Angove, 999 Third Ave., Suite 2200, Seattle, WA 98104. Mailed comments must be postmarked by Feb. 22, 2013.
There will be another opportunity for people to provide comment at a public hearing to be held in November, when WSDOT will share the environmental assessment findings. The EA and final report are scheduled to be completed in early 2014.
After the environmental assessment is complete, legislative authorization for I-90 tolling could take place as soon as 2014, and tolls could be collected as soon as 2015.