Harmsworth sponsors amendments to stop I-405 tolling
“We need to return to something that benefits all drivers, not just a select few.”
A narrow majority in the state House today defeated two amendments offered by Rep. Mark Harmsworth, R-Mill Creek, to stop the tolling on Interstate 405 (I-405). The amendments would have striped funding from the I-405 Express Toll Lanes Operations account proposed in the House transportation budget.
“As we near the end of the two-year trial period, we tried to stop the funding for the I-405 toll lanes,” said Harmsworth. “Unfortunately the majority party decided they want to continue with express lane tolling, penalizing folks that are just trying to get to work on time every day.”
By removing the funding needed to run the express toll lanes, Harmsworth's amendments would have effectively shut down tolling operations. This would reverse and remove the high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on I-405, restoring the corridor back to four general purpose lanes and two-plus passenger carpool lanes.
“This fight is not over,” continued Harmsworth. “We need to return to something that benefits all drivers, not just a select few.”
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) launched the Express Toll Lanes in September 2015. The HOT, or express toll lanes, were intended to give drivers the option to use the lanes for a faster trip. Fees are adjusted based on real-time traffic conditions. With several issues ranging from continued traffic congestion issues, to technical glitches with billing, and traffic safety concerns, thousands of drivers have called for an end to the tolling.
Amendment 512 was defeated on a party-line vote of 48-49, 1 excused.
Amendment 513 was defeated on a party-line vote of 48-49, 1, excused.
###Washington State House Republican Communications