Tacoma Narrows tolls pushing past $6?

Tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge are expected to increase 50 cents by the summer of 2014 and there are new concerns drivers will eventually be asked to pay more than the $6 maximum originally projected.

Monday night, the State Transportation Commission will hold the final hearing on proposed successive 25-cent toll increases in 2013 and 2014. The new rates would take effect on July 1 each year.

Tolls could climb even further, unless the state figures out a way to deal with debt for the bridge and the cost of its maintenance, The News Tribune reported.

Budgeted debt payments on the bridge total $45.3 million in the current budget year and will jump to $54.3 million this summer, according to the Tribune. Overhead expenses, such as salaries and benefits for employees, are also expected to increase from $2.8 million to $2.9 million.

Currently, drivers crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge pay $4 with a Good To Go pass, $5 with cash or $6 if paying by mail.

Unless there's a significant increase in bridge traffic, the Tribune reports that might not be enough to balance the budget.

The public is invited to make comments on the 2013 and 2014 proposed tolling increases at the meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 20, at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, at 3510 Grandview Street.

You can read The News Tribune article here.