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SR 520 Program - Costs, Funding and Tolling

Major transportation projects often require innovative and complex funding solutions. The SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program is no different. This page presents an overview of how we plan to deliver a new, safer floating bridge and improvements along SR 520 from I-5 in Seattle to SR 202 in Redmond.

How will WSDOT pay for the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program?

What are the current program costs?

In 2009, the Washington State Legislature set a program budget of $4.65 billion. In October 2012, we released updated cost estimates that show all project elements – from I-5 in Seattle to SR 202 in Redmond – are $4.128 billion, or $522 million less than the program budget. Our latest project plans, including the west side preferred alternative, are within this program budget.

What is currently funded?

The Washington State Legislature has secured a variety of state and federal funding sources, including tolling the existing floating bridge, to help pay for the SR 520 program.

We are currently funded to move forward with:

  • Constructing a new, safer floating bridge.
  • Building a new pontoon construction facility in Grays Harbor.
  • Building pontoons at that facility.
  • Construction on the Eastside Transit and HOV Project.
  • Building the north half of the new west approach bridge, connecting six lanes of traffic from the Montlake interchange to the new floating bridge. 
  • Continuing to design the remaining elements of the west side of the corridor.

SR 520 program cost estimate
(2012 CEVP - updated 10/25/12)


$4.13 B

Funding received to date


$2.72 B

    State funding (Nickel and TPA)

$0.55 B


    Federal funding

$0.12 B


    SR 520 Account (tolling and future federal funding)

$1.61 B


    TIFIA loan

$0.30 B


    Deferred sales tax

$0.14 B

Unfunded need



West side cost estimates - 2010 to 2012 comparison

View a graphic (pdf 289 kb) comparing west side cost estimates between 2010 and 2012.

Cost estimates are developed with the WSDOT CEVP® process. View more information about CEVP and Cost Risk Assessment.

Supplemental documents

Cost accountability: 1997 to 2012

Girder setting under way for the Eastside Transit and HOV Project

From 1997 to December 2012, WSDOT invested $1.146 billion on efforts to replace the aging SR 520 floating bridge. With these funds we have made substantial progress on corridor planning, preliminary engineering, design, environmental review, and right-of-way purchases.

We have also started construction on new SR 520 bridge pontoons, Eastside transit and HOV improvements, and on components of the new SR 520 floating bridge.  

The Legislature has established a program limit of $4.65 billion. To date, the SR 520 Program has spent $1.124 billion, or just over 24 percent of the program cost limit. Additionally, $22 million was spent on the Trans-Lake Study.

The SR 520 program has followed strict procurement and financial reporting protocols, including quarterly financial updates. Financial oversight is provided by WSDOT management, the Governor's Office of Financial Management, the Washington State Legislature and the Federal Highway Administration.

Trans-Lake Washington Study

$22 M


- Evaluated multiple options for a new Lake Washington crossing and decided on a new SR 520 floating bridge


SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program

$1.124 B

Preliminary engineering

$327 M


- Addressed legislative requirements for reports, studies, and/or processes.
- Produced nine environmental documents needed for construction permits.
- Completed preliminary or conceptual design for I-5 to SR 202, pontoon casting facility and pontoons.


Right of way

$89 M


- Purchased properties necessary for construction or mitigation.



$708 M


- Continued construction on Eastside, floating bridge and pontoon projects.


Total expenditures to date (through December 2012)

$1.146 B

A helpful summary of expenditures is posted in the Program Library.

SR 520 and tolls

Tolling on the SR 520 bridge across Lake Washington began Dec. 29, 2011.

How do drivers pay tolls on SR 520?
The SR 520 corridor uses all-electronic tolling, meaning no toll booths and no stopping to pay. Tolls are collected electronically from those with a Good To Go! account as vehicles travel at highway speeds. The license plates of drivers without an account will be photographed and they will be able to post-pay within 72 hours or wait to receive a bill in the mail.

How were toll rates set?
Washington State Transportation Commission set toll rates following the Washington Administrative Code process. Tolls will vary by the day and time of travel.

What will the SR 520 tolls pay for?
Tolls collected will be used only for SR 520 improvements, operations and maintenance.

Was the original SR 520 bridge tolled?
Yes, the SR 520 bridge was tolled from the time it was completed in August 1963, until it was paid off in June 1979. The tolls generated approximately $60 million.

For more information, visit SR 520 tolling.

SR 520 bond sale information

Washington State bonds will be sold in the public markets. Announcements of bond sales will be posted on the website of the Office of the State Treasurer. Underwriters, if any, will be identified at that time. More information can be found here:

The state has no role in administering or interpreting the application of the EB-5 immigrant investor program.

This section is in no way meant to be an endorsement of the EB-5 immigrant investor program. More information about the EB-5 program can be found here: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.