Kilmer sponsors more bridge legislation

The Washington Senate recently approved legislation to ensure stronger accountability of funds in the Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll account.

Senate Bill 5795, sponsored by Sen. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor), restricts the use of toll revenues to expenditures directly related to the financing, operation, maintenance, management and necessary repairs of the bridge.

“The bridge can’t use a cell phone or eat a meal, so I don’t think money in the bridge account should be used to pay for those things,” Kilmer said. “We’ve contracted out the toll collections to a private contractor, so I see no good reason why we would take on these extra costs.”

Kilmer has made oversight of the bridges finances a priority since he was elected to the Legislature in 2004. He has worked to ensure that toll funds have gone directly to paying down the bridge debt rather than ancillary uses along the broader Highway 16 corridor.

“Every dollar we can save is one less dollar that we have to pay in tolls and I want to make sure that the dollars going into the Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll account are spent efficiently. This bill is about accountability and protecting toll payers,” Kilmer said.

The bill passed on a unanimous vote of 45-0.

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