Bill requires Washington, Oregon governors to both approve any Oregon plan to toll at state line; follows Oregon actions to proceed with Concept C that tolls all lanes of I-5, I-205 with no corresponding benefits
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler announced today that she is introducing legislation prohibiting any tolls at the Washington-Oregon state line without agreement from both states’ governors.
Jaime’s bill, the I-5 Corridor Cooperation Act, comes after multiple high-ranking Washington officials, including Governor Inslee, have joined her in taking public stances opposed to Oregon’s Concept C to toll all lanes of I-5 and I-205 at the state line. Despite this public opposition, Oregon Transportation Commission took additional steps today toward the implementation of Concept C at its meeting in John Day, OR.
The I-5 Corridor Cooperation Act requires a signed agreement by the governors of Oregon and Washington before any tolls can be collected on federal roads I-5 or I-205 between S.R. 500 and U.S. 30. It also requires that the Federal Highways Administration issue a formal economic impact study covering tolling impacts on Clark and Cowlitz County businesses, residents and tribes before any such agreement can be reached.
“Despite Oregon transportation officials’ insistence last week to Senator Murray that they are listening to Washington’s concerns, just today they took another step toward implementing their Concept C plan to levy tolls on all Washington commuters who drive to Oregon for work, with no corresponding infrastructure improvements planned for the area. Meanwhile, Oregon’s largest and most politically influential city has issued a formal stance that this maximum-tolling plan should be implemented immediately. Given these developments, you’ll forgive us Washington residents who aren’t ready to buy Oregon’s assurances that they’ve got our best interests at heart,” said Jaime. “Until Oregon formally scraps plans to toll I-5 and I-205 at the state line without providing a specific plan to benefit those who will pay, Washington commuters deserve to have a safeguard written into law that will protect them – and that’s what my bill does.”
“If Oregon really does mean what it says – that Southwest Washington voices matter in its tolling decisions – then this bill should serve as nothing but a formality. I-5 and I-205 are a shared transportation corridor, and this bill makes sure that our two states work in cooperation.”