Transportation commissions form bi-state tolling subcommittee to guide tolling on I-5 Bridge

The Oregon Transportation Commission and Washington State Transportation Commission have formed a new bi-state tolling subcommittee to study and assess possible toll rates and policies for the Interstate 5 bridge.
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First meeting of Oregon, Washington officials takes place virtually on Feb. 23

VANCOUVER – The Oregon Transportation Commission and Washington State Transportation Commission have formed a new bi-state tolling subcommittee to study and assess possible toll rates and policies for the Interstate 5 Bridge over the Columbia River. The subcommittee’s first meeting is on Friday, Feb. 23, and the public is invited to attend.

The bi-state tolling subcommittee is made up of two commissioners appointed from each state’s transportation commission. Lee Beyer and Alicia Chapman are representing Oregon on the subcommittee; James “Jim” A. Restucci and Roy Jennings are representing Washington. They will assess toll rate and policy options for the bridge. The subcommittee also will advise the full memberships of the Washington and Oregon transportation commissions and ultimately provide recommendations on toll rates and policies for each state commission’s consideration and action in late 2025.

This is of significant interest to Clark County residents as an estimated 75,000 area citizens work in Oregon. Clark County Today recently revealed that the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is planning to spend $261 million to implement a new tolling system. It was further revealed they expect an initial “cost of collection” to be 83-86 percent of tolls collected. 

The Washington State Legislature had to bail out the five state tolling systems with general fund tax dollars during the pandemic, as toll lane use failed to generate enough revenue to cover the cost of collection and pay off tolling bonds. Oregon officials want to charge double tolls on area freeways, one for crossing a bridge (the Interstate Bridge, the Abernethy Bridge and others), and a second “per mile” charge as part of their Regional Mobility Pricing Program (RMPP). Economist Joe Cortright has estimated $28-31 per day round trip tolls between Salmon Creek in Vancouver and Wilsonville. 

The public is invited to attend the virtual meeting, which will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23. The meeting will be streamed live on Zoom . Public comment is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. Written comments may be submitted to .

A recent ODOT Regional Toll Advisory Committee (RTAC) meeting witnessed members saying ODOT was “tone deaf” to the concerns of people. Will the OTC and WSTC committee also be tone deaf? One person listening, has been Oregon Governor Tina Kotek, who “paused” the implementation of tolling until January 2026 due to the public outcry.

An Oregon legislature subcommittee held two town hall events in December and January. Not a single citizen spoke in favor of ODOTs planned tolling. Yet the agency continues to move forward with its plans to implement tolling.

The January adoption of the bi-state tolling agreement by each state’s transportation commission set the stage for the bi-state tolling subcommittee. The subcommittee will meet virtually the third Friday of every month, and each meeting will provide an opportunity for public comment. Meeting notices and agendas will be posted on the WSTC and OTC websites prior to meetings.

Construction of the Interstate 5 Bridge over the Columbia River is anticipated to begin by early 2026, and tolling is expected to begin in spring 2026. Tolling is expected to provide traffic management and vital funding for the project as well as cover ongoing maintenance costs for the bridge and tolling operations.

Free, temporary internet access is available to those who do not have broadband service in locations throughout Washington by finding the nearest Drive-In WiFi Hotspot . Free WiFi access in Oregon is available at these locations:

  • Peninsula Park Community Center, 700 N. Rosa Parks Way, Portland, 97217
  • Matt Dishman Community Center, 77 NE Knott Street, Portland, 97212
  • Johns Community Center, 8427 N. Central Street, Portland, 97203
  • Kenton Library, 8226 N. Denver Avenue, Portland, 97217
  • Johns Library, 7510 N. Charleston Avenue, Portland, 97203

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