Highway 520 traffic down 45% on first day of tolling

SEATTLE — Washington transportation officials say traffic on the Highway 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington was down about 45 percent on Thursday’s first day of tolling, compared with earlier this week.

Traffic volumes on the toll-free Interstate 90 bridge across the lake were somewhat higher than normal for the holiday week. Traffic on Highway 522 around the north end of the lake was higher than normal as well.

Still, Transportation Department state tolling director Craig Stone said travel times were not noticeably affected. He called it “a good first day.”

As many as 75 percent of Thursday morning 520 commuters had a state Good to Go pass that works like a debit card. Those without the sticker are billed by mail for the tolls — which vary by time of day — plus a $1.50 surcharge.

Officials say the real test will come next Tuesday, when more people return to work.

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