A toll road along the base of the Cascade mountains would be financed by and reserved for truckers.
According to an Associated Press report Monday, a private entity would build the route and collect tolls. The public might have to help buy rights of way. If just half of the 22,000 trucks that roll down I-5 south from Seattle each day used the toll route - at 60 cents per mile, or $60 for a one-way run - its $5 billion cost could be justified, the study suggests.
"Based on existing and projected volumes, there is some potential there," said Barbara Ivanov, director of freight strategy and policy for the state Department of Transportation.
However, she said the department does not know if the trucking companies and manufacturers would be willing to pay the rates involved.
The proposed corridor would be three lanes wide - one in each direction and some type of passing lane - and for long-haul freight only. Only a limited number of exits would be built.
Public meetings on the freight-road proposal are scheduled for Nov. 10 in Bellingham and Nov. 23 in Chehalis.
The study is available through the state Department of Transportation: www.wsdot.wa.gov/freight/CommerceCorridorFeasStudy.htm.