In 2010, the Legislature directed WSDOT to conduct a feasibility study of tolling the I-5 Express Lanes, the reversible roadway connecting downtown Seattle and Northgate. Specifically, WSDOT was asked to examine the following:
- The potential for value pricing to generate revenues for needed transportation facilities;
- Maximizing the efficient operation of the corridor;
- Economic considerations for future system investments; and
- An analysis of the impacts to the regional transportation system.
This analysis differs from other recent toll feasibility studies, in that it examines only tolling without making any assumption of how the Legislature would choose to use tolling revenues. As a result, the analysis addresses how much funding could be generated and what effects tolling would have, but without factoring in improvements that could be funded by tolls or mitigations that might be needed to account for traffic diversion if other offsetting improvements are not made. Before carrying a toll proposal further into environmental analysis and public discussion, it will be important to identify how tolls would be used, since the public will judge the proposal based on whether the benefits of those improvements are worth the cost in tolls.
View the report
Final Report (1.49 MB PDF)
WSDOT Toll Division