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Motorists were " Good to Go ," all right -- good to go for free this morning after the new toll-collection system on the Highway

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'Sparking Panel' Shuts Down Tolls on Floating Bridge; Drivers 'Good to Go' -- For Free

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Motorists were "Good to Go," all right -- good to go for free this morning after the new toll-collection system on the Highway 520 floating bridge went on the blink. "It was an electrical issue," explains Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Patty Michaud. "The panel was sparking and we had to bring down the system."

The problem started around 12:30 a.m., when an alarm went off. Repair crews worked through the night to figure out how to deal with the electrical short in a power box that knocked out the toll equipment.

Finally, at 6:30 a.m., the system was shut down and commuters were granted a free pass across the bridge. That ride for nothing was short-lived, and expected to end around noon today when the repairs are complete.

This is the second time a glitch caused a crash to the toll devices, which are rigged to the overhead trusswork near the east shore of the bridge. On Dec. 26, signs that show toll amounts went blank.

The system is run by Texas-based Electronic Transaction Consultants under a 5-year, $23 million contract that includes toll-counting and billing systems for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, along with the Highway 167 high-occupancy toll lanes.

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