ODOT launched an online survey Monday seeking public comment on five preliminary alternatives for tolls on Interstate 205 around the Abernethy Bridge.
The toll alternatives, released Monday, launch a federally required environmental review process and a 45-day period for public comment. These are the first steps that will lead to selection of a toll system in the corridor.
Each of the five alternatives would toll all lanes of I-205 between Stafford Road and OR 213 to raise revenue and improve travel reliability. The revenue could help pay for highway improvements along the corridor.
“We know tolls on I-205 will be a big change for our community, which is why it’s so important to share your opinions now,” said Lucinda Broussard, ODOT Toll Program Director. “Your comments about how tolls affect you and your community are critical to inform how we add tolls to the highway and which alternatives to study in the next phase of analysis.”
Before March 2020, an average of 100,000 vehicles traveled Interstate 205 every day in the corridor, leading to more than 6.5 hours of delay and costing our economy $2 million each day. As the risks of COVID-19 are reduced, we expect a return of traffic congestion. ODOT proposes all-electronic, variable-rate tolls to manage this congestion and generate revenue for needed transportation improvements to keep people moving into the future.
Tolls are one tool we will use to improve the transportation system. Tolling I-205 improves traffic as some drivers adjust their travel times to pay a lower toll and free up space on the highway, optimizing the system for all.
With no tollbooths, drivers will not stop to pay a toll. A transponder, a small sticker placed on the inside of the windshield, is read and connected to a pre-paid account. If a vehicle doesn’t have a transponder, a camera captures the car’s license plate, and the registered owner is billed. This keeps traffic flowing.
ODOT will study options for how best to reach individuals who lack access to prepay tolls.
From Aug. 3 through Sept. 16, 2020, ODOT will host activities to ask questions, offer feedback, and learn about the project. Public feedback will help determine which toll alternatives to study in the next steps of the I-205 toll project environmental review process.