A bill that would authorize the state to charge tolls on the Interstate 5 Bridge passed the Senate 33 to 15 on Tuesday morning. The vote came to the floor on the bridge's 95th birthday. Money from the tolls would go toward construction of a replacement bridge to connect Vancouver and Portland.
Tolling is expected to make up about one-third of the funding for the project, according to the Department of Transportation. The rates remain undetermined, though. They will be settled through negotiation between the transportation commissions in Washington and Oregon.
The transportation departments in both states estimate the project will cost between $3.1 billion and $3.5 billion. Federal appropriations are projected to make up about a third of the funding.