No Tolls on The Bridge!

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A $2.50 toll each way, 5 days/week, 50 weeks/year adds up to a yearly toll of $1250/year in AFTER TAX MONEY ($1600 in 2017 dollars). People who work in Oregon will probably have to earn at least $1700/year to pay this toll. (2006 dollars, $2100 in 2017 dollars)

They are considering triple the above tolls to force you to use transit:

It gets worse!

Quotes From The Columbian, Friday, June 5, 2009 (local copy):


a triple toll, $7.80 each way during rush hour in 2017

. . .

But if you want to raise the big money, you double that base toll and place it on both the I-5 and I-205 bridges.


That would raise a projected $6.06 billion over 30 years, more than enough to pay the entire cost of building a new I-5 bridge, extending light rail into Vancouver and reconstructing seven freeway interchanges.



Triple tolls of $7.80 each way ($15.60 round trip) are $3900/year!


Can you get a $5000-$6000 raise to pay these tolls just to get to work?

Can you afford to waste an extra hour or two each day shifting to transit?

From the Draft Environmental Statement, page S-26:


Bridge Toll

Tolling will likely be necessary to generate the local revenue needed to help pay for the CRC project. Tolling was used to fund the original construction of the Interstate Bridge in 1917, and again in 1958 to pay for construction of the second span.


Several tolling scenarios are being evaluated (Exhibit 21):


• No toll (part of the No-Build Alternative, and also modeled with Alternative 3 to determine the traffic effects of tolling).

• Standard variable rate on the I-5 crossing (paired with Alternatives 2 and 3).

• Higher variable rate on the I-5 crossing (paired with Alternatives 4 and 5).

• Standard variable rate on both the I-5 and I-205 crossings (not paired with any build alternative, but evaluated separately to assess

potential traffic diversions resulting from tolling the I-5 crossing).

Different toll rates would be charged based on the type of vehicle and the time of day, with higher tolls charged during peak commute periods. Tolls would be collected through an electronic toll collection system so that traffic would not have to stop or slow down when crossing the bridge. Instead, motorists could equip their cars with transponders that would automatically bill the vehicle owner each time they crossed the bridge. Cars without transponders would be tolled by a license-plate recognition system that would bill the address of the owner registered to that license plate.


These different tolling scenarios are being evaluated for several purposes. Evaluating different rates on the I-5 crossing provides information about travelers’ sensitivity to paying a toll, and whether a higher toll would provide more revenue or simply cause reduced use of the river crossing. Evaluating a toll on the I-205 crossing provides an indication of how many motorists would divert to the I-205 crossing if this project were to implement a toll on just the I-5 crossing.

Tolls as high as $3900/year are being proposed

you’d have to get a $5000-$6000 raise to pay tolls after tax

Tolls are Planned to be $2000 per Year for Commuters


Chapter 4 of The Interstate 5 Columbia River Crossing Project Final Environmental Impact Statement contains financial data including tolling scenarios. Exhibit 4.33, Toll Rate Schedule Scenarios - Toll Rates In Each Direction, shows three toll rate scenarios called Schedule 1, Schedule 2, and Schedule 3. Page 4-19 contains the following statement:


Given the baseline financial assumptions used in this FEIS, finance  plan scenarios based on either the Base (Schedule 1) or Schedule 2 toll rates  do not appear to be viable. The finance plan scenario shown assumes Toll Rate  Schedule 3 and employs its entire borrowing capacity. It employs 3 years of precompletion tolling on a cash basis and a small amount of residual toll revenues. (Emphasis added)


Therefore it is appropriate to use the tolling data from Schedule 3 which shows a $3.00 toll from 6-10 am and 3-7 pm. This must be adjusted per footnote a of Exhibit 4.33:


       Toll rates are shown in 2006 dollars. Toll rates are assumed to escalate at 2.5% per year.


If the bridge opens in 2019, at 2.5% per year increase, that $3 toll becomes $4.14 each way or $8.28 per day for commuters.


$8.28 per day is $2000 per year.

With yearly increases that becomes $3000 per year just 15 years after opening.




3 x 1.025^13 = $4.14

4.14 x 2 = $8.27

8.27 x 250 = $2068

2068 x 1.025^15 = $2995



1.025^13 = 1.378511

1.025^15 = 1.448298


But Tolls might reach $4000 per Year for Commuters!


The Columbia River Crossing Project ANNUAL SECTION 5309 NEW STARTS REPORT CAPITAL AND OPERATING FINANCE PLAN September 2011 created by the CRC for the FTA in compliance with annual New Starts reporting requirements contains this statement on pdf page 43: Adapt Tolling to Different Circumstances if required to Rebalance the Funding Plan

Toll rates can be adjusted within reasonable amounts if additional funding capacity is required. Tolling analyses found that gross toll revenues can be increased by raising toll rates up to almost $6.00 (2006$) each way, after which the diversion impacts of higher rates exceeds the added revenues the higher rates produce. Toll rates that high are not being proposed. However, the analysis demonstrates that an increased toll rate schedule can produce additional funding capacity, if that was required.


Again, adjusting that $6 toll from 2006 dollars to day of opening we get $8.28 each way, or $16.56/round trip, which is $4140 per year for commuters.

With yearly increases that becomes $6000 per year just 15 years after opening.





$6 x 1.025^13 = $8.27

$8.27 x 2 = $16.54

$16.54 x 250 = $4136

$4136 x 1.025^15 = $5989




PDF of the above Page

Previous version of this page was based on the Draft EIS and is preserved below: