After pushing tolling for the new State Route 99 Tunnel past an anticipated summer start, WSDOT has announced it will begin collecting tolls on Saturday, Nov. 9.

The Washington State Transportation Commission adopted tolling rates back in October that were originally expected to take effect this summer, but a new system for billing and storing customer account data wasn’t ready yet, and the expectation was to have the Alaskan Way Viaduct demolished before tolls took effect.

Patty Rubstello, WSDOT assistant secretary of Urban Mobility and Access, said Monday that the state transportation department is still projecting it will collect the $200 million needed to pay off bonds approved by the Legislature to construct the 99 Tunnel. WSDOT also needs toll revenue to support ongoing operation and maintenance costs associated with the tunnel.

“It is one part of the third chapter of the Seattle Squeeze that we’ve been talking about for so many months now,” said Heather Marx, SDOT director of Downtown Mobility.

That five-year period of constraint, both from transportation and new development construction, started with the closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in January. The 99 Tunnel opened on Feb. 4, and in March the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel was closed to buses in order to improve light rail reliability, shifting seven bus routes out of DSTT.

Marx said people did adjust to the viaduct closure by finding alternative travel methods, such as transit, but vehicle volume is back to normal levels.

The start of tolling on Nov. 9 is projected to cause a 50 percent diversion of traffic out of the 99 Tunnel, Marx said, but that is a conservative estimate based on a financial study used to determine the level of tolling needed to pay off the $200 million and cover operations and maintenance. An average 80,000 vehicles use the tunnel daily.

“The advice we give to people is give yourself a little more time — have a plan,” Marx said.

Weekday tolls will be $1.50 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. (peak commute) and $2.25 from 3-6 p.m. (evening peak). The toll will be $1.25 during non-peak hours between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., and $1 for weekend and overnight (11 p.m. to 6 a.m.) tolls. Anyone without a Good To Go! pass will pay an extra $2.

WSDOT has a Good To Go! incentive pass program going on now, where people can sign up for a free sticker pass at New accounts require an initial prepaid balance of $30.

A Pay As You Go option will not be available until WSDOT’s new backend system is launched. Rubstello said that won’t happen until WSDOT is satisfied with its testing of the new system, which is ongoing.

More traffic is also expected to be added to Seattle streets during three weekends when Sound Transit will stop light rail service between SODO and Capitol Hill to build a temporary center platform at the Pioneer Square Station in preparation of expanding to the Eastside. These disruptions will take place Oct. 12-13, Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 9-10.

More light rail service impacts are expected during a 10-week period that starts in January and includes shifting tracks and updating the signal system.

“Track closures will significantly reduce light rail service, and both northbound and southbound riders traveling through downtown will have to use the temporary center platform at Pioneer Square to continue their journeys,” according to a Sound Transit news release.

Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition is expected to move to Marion Street after Labor Day, according to a WSDOT newsletter, reducing traffic on Alaskan Way to one lane in each direction there until mid-September. Demolition will then focus on South Dearborn Street at First Avenue South. Marx said Alaskan Way will be back to two lanes in each direction before Dearborn is closed.