Traffic slowly returning to Seattle toll bridge

SEATTLE — The Washington Transportation Department says drivers are gradually returning to the Highway 520 floating bridge since tolling was imposed in late December.

Tolling spokeswoman Patty Michaud said Friday the bridge that handled about 100,000 vehicles a day now typically handles 60,000 to 65,000. Traffic had dropped by nearly half when tolling went into effect.

The department expects the Highway 520 traffic to continue to build over several months.

Some of the former 520 drivers are crossing Lake Washington on the Interstate 90 freeway floating bridge and some are driving around the north end of the lake on Highway 522. I-90 traffic is up 10 to 15 percent and Highway 522 traffic about 10 percent.

Michaud said other commuters are taking transit or just not making the trip.

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