The countdown is on for drivers who use State Route 520.
Starting Dec. 29, drivers will pay an electronic toll to cross the bridge and the Washington State Department of Transportation is urging travelers to get ready by setting up a Good To Go! account.
“Tolling is helping Washington move forward with critical transportation investments and will finance ongoing and future work to replace the vulnerable SR 520 floating bridge and corridor,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “SR 520 toll revenue will provide $1 billion to fund pontoon construction in Grays Harbor, and floating bridge construction and improvements on the Eastside, which already are under way. Starting tolling before the new bridge is built is keeping financing costs down.”
The toll system’s components have been tested and retested since summer to ensure they can collect data at highway speeds and create transactions for the more than 100,000 vehicles that cross the bridge daily. WSDOT also brought in national tolling experts to review the system, and expanded its customer service support.
However, even though the Good To Go! call center has activated more than 120,000 new accounts since February, WSDOT Toll Division Director Craig Stone expects there will flood of requests into customer service as many drivers have yet to set up their accounts.
“We know from our Tacoma Narrows Bridge experience that we can expect long lines and wait times as customers rush to set up their Good To Go! accounts,” said Stone.
“We’re taking steps to prepare for this surge to get as many people on board as soon as possible. Even so, we’re asking people to be patient.”
To prepare for the anticipated high volumes of customers registering and activating accounts this month, WSDOT has extended call center hours and hired extra customer service staff.
Customers can purchase the popular sticker passes at Costco, Safeway, Fred Meyer and QFC and activate them online. Passes will not work unless they are registered on an active account.
Drivers should also check their accounts for up-to-date credit card and license plate information.
How to get ready:
• Get your pass, install and activate it before tolling starts
• Make sure all account information is up to date, including credit card or bank information
• Make sure license plate(s) are correctly listed on your account
Where to get a pass and open an account:
• Buy any of five pass options online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo
• Purchase the popular $5 sticker pass at participating stores: Costco, Safeway, Fred Meyer and QFC. Visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo/retail for a list of retail locations
• Visit a full service customer service center or a mobile customer service station. Find locations and hours online at http://wsdot.wa.gov/GoodToGo/contacts.htm.