This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

The US. Department of Transportation has selected a Lake Washington corridor project as semi-finalists for a federal Urban Partnerships grant.

The grant is to help cities mitigate construction through four “T”s: tolling, transit, telecommuting, and technology. But the emphasis of the plan is congestion pricing. Here’s a bit more from the WA State Transportation Commission’s March meeting minutes (PDF):

Favorable consideration is given if the request is for the ability to toll existing interstate facilities. The partnership is a two-way street with the federal government providing funding assistance and the metropolitan area entering into the partnership must commit to pursuing an aggressive congestion management strategy that includes four elements; tolling, technology, transit and telecommuting. The program asks that that within two to three years the metropolitan area demonstrate a congestion pricing or tolling element on an existing facility that results in measurable congestion reduction. A collective proposal is being put together that will meet the qualifying guidelines

The grant would be available within the next two years. Sounds to me like they’re considering congestion pricing on both 520 and I-90, possibly even before the 520 bridge is replaced.

Update: my instincts were right. The Times says $2 tolls could be implemented on the existing bridge within three years.