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WSDOT says it lost confidence in contractor’s ability to start Highway 99 tunnel tolls on schedule
The Seattle Times ^ | July 29, 2019 | Mike Lindblom

Posted on 08/01/2019 10:48:05 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Drivers may not mind, but state transportation officials this spring said they had lost confidence that a new contractor would launch Highway 99 tunnel tolls on schedule, records show.

State toll managers became wary enough that they’ll make a temporary deal with the existing statewide tolling contractor, to take over the tunnel-toll startup. That way, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) can begin charging drivers sometime this fall, as announced last month.

Then next year, the current operator will hand off the tunnel toll operations to the new company, Dallas-based ETAN, state toll-project engineer Jennifer Charlebois said in an interview.

The state misses $1 million in tunnel revenue each month of delay. That’s a manageable amount, but toll-division staff don’t want to wait much longer before they begin fulfilling the Legislature’s mandate that tolls defray $200 million in construction costs, Charlebois said.

Officials haven’t announced a start date for tunnel tolls. Trips remain free in the tunnel, which opened Feb. 4. Tolls will vary by time of day, from $1 overnight to $2.25 at afternoon peak, each direction.

In recent months, the state and ETAN repeatedly postponed the company’s date to complete and test its “back office” processing system, from Dec. 1, 2018, until Feb. 15, then May 17 and June 22, according to project documents released under the state Public Records Act.

“These continued delays have caused WSDOT to lose confidence in ETAN’s ability to predict when the system will meet the standards of readiness required for Go Live,” said a May 20 letter by Patty Rubstello, urban mobility and access director. She declared a readiness date of Sept. 1, now expected to slide.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: delays; etan; funding; infrastructure; revenues; seattle; spending; sr99; tolls; transportation; tunnel; washington

1 posted on 08/01/2019 10:48:05 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: BobL; sphinx; GreenLanternCorps; oldvirginian


2 posted on 08/01/2019 10:49:10 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Show me the people who own the land, the guns and the money, and I'll show you the people in charge.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Let's see, the Tacoma Narrows bridge tolling system took longer than expected. The I-405 tolling system called “good to go” was a disaster.

So why should this one be any different? Well it is clear that WSDOT does not learn from its mistakes. It is also clear that they do not have project managers with sufficient skill to manage such projects.

WSDOT is also a huge agency. It should be downsized to just a handful of people and the downsizing should not find jobs for the employees in other government agencies. The amount of work that could be outsourced is huge and should be outsourced.

Disband the agency and transfer a few functions to other agencies.

3 posted on 08/01/2019 11:26:33 AM PDT by Robert357
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
The push to toll all roads in the Puget Sound is well on its way. 405 is a parking lot every day, as is I-5. There are limited ways to traverse both N/S and E/W because of geography, and they refuse to increase capacity … 99 was a free expressway until they built the tunnel, now it will be toll. In Seattle, your N/S choices are 5, 99 and surface streets with lights every block. There are only 6 bridges that cross the ship canal (Ballard, Fremont, 99, 5, Eastlake and Montlake). Once 99 is tolled, I expect Ballard to become the next on their list to turn into some form of toll road since that has the easiest route N/S.

E/W is worse. To get to the Eastside, you have 520 and 90. Tolls are already on 520, and they have been threatening to toll 90 for some time. Outside of those, you have Lake City Way around the N end of the lake, Rainier around the S, or surface streets with lights as the most direct routes … if you want to stay on the freeway, all the way up to Lynnwood to the N, or Tukwila in the South, with a possible option to cut across at MLK 2 miles before Tukwila, but the light in Skyway backs up a mile and the cops sit on it down into Renton. Once in Renton, you have a minimum of 9 lights to cross town and get back on 405.
4 posted on 08/01/2019 11:32:53 AM PDT by RainMan (rainman)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

These dumbasses are charging people to go through a tunnel in the middle of downtown. This isn’t a bridge spanning water or a tunnel under the sound. This is maybe two miles long and gets you from the north side of the downtown core to the south side.

The tunnel is there to alleviate traffic. So of course, put a toll on it so nobody will use it.

There’s a line from the HBO Chernobyl series (which is excellent, by the way).

“What do you call a machine that is as big as a house, consumes 20 meters of fuel an hour, creates a sh!tload of smoke and noise, and splits an apple into three pieces?

A soviet-built machine that is designed to split an apple into four pieces.”

Welcome to the People’s Soviet of Washington State.

5 posted on 08/02/2019 5:52:06 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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