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Wednesday morning's headlines

The 520 Floating Bridge (aka Evergreen Point Floating Bridge) may have tolling by April 2011.
Flickr photo by pgsvensk
The 520 Floating Bridge (aka Evergreen Point Floating Bridge) may have tolling by April 2011.

A toll plan for Highway 520 bridge, Four Loko aims for less loco, and 787's test planes come home.


520 Toll Rates Proposed

It may cost you up to $3.50 to cross the 520 floating bridge soon.  The fee proposal comes after a study by the state Transportation Commission.  The money would go toward the costs of a new $4.6 billion dollar six-lane bridge, a corridor linking I-5 and I-405.  The Seattle Times reports:

The Washington State Transportation Commission is to make its final decision Jan. 5 — unless Tim Eyman's Initiative 1053 forces the toll decision into the lap of the state Legislature.

There'll be a final decision on the fees in January.  Your travel costs would vary depending on the time of day you travel and whether or not you install a 'Good to Go' electronic reader on your windshield. Without it, the cost to cross would be $5.  Toll booths are not part of the plan.


Banned Beverage Changes Brew

The Four Loko 'energy' drink is dumping part of its buzz: the caffeine. Washington is one of four states to ban  the alcohol and caffeine punch after college students were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning. Drink-maker Phusion Projects make the move in response to a push for a nationwide ban.They tell the Associated Press they still believe the elixir is safe. 

One tall can holds an alcohol equivalent of four normal beers, according to state Attorney General Rob McKenna. After nine Central Washington University students imbibed and needed medical treatment, McKenna and Governor Chris Gregoire secured a statewide ban. It takes effect tomorrow. 


787's Return, Test Flights Still Delayed

Two Dreamliners are back in Seattle after an electrical fire last week grounded the test flights. The fire forced an emergency landing in Laredo, Texas. An investigation team is still at work there.  This morning The Herald of Everett reports:

Boeing workers removed a panel from the rear electronics bay on the second Dreamliner where the fire started. That panel was sent to Seattle late last week to be inspected.

Boeing says the fire lasted less than 30 seconds.  It's still unclear how the test-flight stoppage might affect customer deliveries which are anticipated early next year.


Windstorm Outages Remain

The power is still out to about 4,000 homes after Monday's windstorm. Rural areas of Thurston, Skagit and Island counties have homes in the dark, according to Puget Sound Energy. Workers aim to have them back online today.