No, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge has not been paid off. The bridge was financed through a system known as “Columbia River bridge bonds”, which was borrowed from the Seattle-First National Bank. The bridge’s final payment isn’t due until 2051 and over the next few decades the State of Washington will continue to make payments on the bonds.
In the meantime, tolls from the bridge are used to pay for infrastructure upgrades, debt service payments, and general maintenance.
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How much is still owed on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge?
As of October 2019, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge still owes approximately $573 million in outstanding debt. This debt consists of both principal and interest payments that need to be paid off over the life of the bridge loan, which was most recently renewed in 2016.
This debt includes the original $849 million construction loan from the Washington Transportation Commission, plus additional debt taken on in the 2006 and 2016 bond issues. These payments are split between debt service payments and ancillary costs such as operations, maintenance and capital improvement costs.
As of October 2019, the total annual debt payments for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge are approximately $40 million. The remaining debt will be paid off in full over the next four-six years, depending on the success of refinancing and restructuring efforts.
How could the Tacoma bridge collapse been avoided?
The failure of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state in 1940 could have been avoided by utilizing better design and engineering practices. The bridge was constructed with a structural design that provided too much flexibility which caused the bridge to vibrate and eventually collapse; however, if more attention had been given to the design of the bridge and more extensive testing had been done during the construction process this event could have been avoided.
Additionally, the bridge might have been able to withstand the wind had there been more concentration on stiffening the bridge so that its vertical and horizontal stiffness could remain balanced. Furthermore, the mitaired towers supporting the suspended roadway of the bridge could have been better designed to resist lateral vibration and should have been more widely spaced.
Finally, the bridge construction went through several design changes that were processed very quickly and not thoroughly tested. If more time had been spent testing the design changes, it is possible that the problems associated with the bridge could have been identified and addressed before the final construction process.
Can you still pay cash on the Bay bridge?
Yes, you can still pay cash when crossing the Bay Bridge. The toll for crossing the bridge varies based on the method of payment. Cash payments are accepted at the Toll Plaza, where the toll is $6 during peak hours and $4 during off-peak hours.
Toll Takers in lanes 3 and 4 accept payment by paper bills and coins. If you require change, the toll taker will issue corresponding tokens. Token payments are accepted in all lanes of the Toll Plaza.
Motorists can also find a Change Machine near the Toll Plaza buildings if they need change for their cash payments.
In addition, cash payments can be made at certain locations after crossing the bridge, including the Gateway Center in Oakland and the Welcome Center in San Francisco. These locations accept cash payments up to 48 hours after crossing.
After the 48-hour period passes, the bridge toll must be paid online, at the Bay Area FasTrak toll office, or at other centers that accept payments that do not use cash.
How long will Tacoma Narrows be tolled?
Tacoma Narrows will be tolled for as long as is necessary to pay for the construction on the bridge. The current tolling length is estimated to be approximately 16 years, from the opening of the bridge in July 2007 to the projected tolling end in 2023.
During that time, tolls will be in effect for both directions of travel and will vary depending on the time of day, season, and type of vehicle. The current base toll on the bridge is $7. 00 and the maximum toll is $9.
95, with discounts available for selected travelers. In addition, the bridge also offers several programs to reduce the burden of tolling, ranging from discounts to prepaid accounts to payment cards.
As tolling pursues, tolls may be periodically adjusted to cover costs of the bridge, however all tolls are required to stay within set limits set by the Washington State Transportation Commission.
How deep is the water under Tacoma Narrows?
The depth of water under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge varies depending on tides and other factors, but typically ranges from 65 to 75 feet deep. The bridge is located in Puget Sound, and is the third longest suspension bridge in the United States.
The deepest recorded depth under the bridge was 82. 2 feet in 2006. In general, the water depth at the bridge is less than in other parts of Puget Sound, due to the shallow tidal flats in the area.