TOLLING: D.C. contemplating HOT lanes for 14th Street Bridge

Congestion-relief effort would cost $7-8 million, pave way for more lanes in the future

April 18, 2014

High-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes and carpool lanes could be coming to the 14th Street Bridge in Washington, D.C., after the city council votes on a new budget bill next month. If the budget passes, the 14th Street Bridge could be one of several spots around the district to add toll lanes.

According to the current plans laid out by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the middle span of the 14th Street Bridge—known locally as the Rochambeau Bridge—would carry the HOT lanes, which would be free for vehicles with three or more people. All other drivers would be required to pay via an electronic E-ZPass transponder.

Opponents of the idea have voiced concerns that tolling would just be another way for the district to collect revenue. DDOT officials reiterated that the lanes are primarily meant to help ease congestion in the district and that the other two spans of the 14th Street Bridge would remain free for all drivers.

Total cost for the HOT lanes is estimated between $7 and $8 million, including the electronic tolling equipment and new signage and lane lines. This is significantly less expensive than other tolling proposals in the works for other areas of the district, including I-395, I-695 and I-295.