PubliCola reports that projected revenue from Deep-Bore Tunnel tolling has dropped from $400m to $200m over the life of the project, and WSDOT hopes to make up the difference by allocating some recent highway fund distributions from the Federal Government.
WSDOT goes on to blame various ways in which the recession affects tolling income. Although some tunnel opponents will no doubt smell a conspiracy, I’m prepared to give WSDOT the same courtesy I did Sound Transit, and accept their excuse as plausible.
However, there’s an interesting asymmetry in the way our system – local, state, and federal – treats road and transit projects. When ST gets in a revenue bind, the question is what they’re going to cut: what stations won’t get built, how many years to delay completion, and so on. When a highway project runs into trouble, it’s all about where they can scrape together more cash to finish the full scope on schedule.