The upcoming Causeway Commission meeting on Wednesday will determine whether there will be a rise in the toll for the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. Prices may be raised up a dollar for tag customers and two dollars for cash customers. With the revenue expected, the commission is hoping to borrow $103 million through bonds, after they receive approval by the Jefferson and St. Tammany Parish councils.
The intended goal is to improve the safety of the bridges. After studying for potential improvement for over the past two years, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute suggested increasing the southbound bridge’s concrete sidewall height approximately 45 inches by building two steel railings on top of them. The cost of the yearlong construction would be around $40 million.
Beyond that, Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou announced the need to create shoulder segments on the bridge. When the Causeway was created, there was no need for such an addition – but now it must adapt to the 12 million vehicles that travel over the bridge yearly. Any accidents that occur currently require motorists to occupy travel lanes, increasing the danger of the danger for drivers. The plans for shoulders include creating six 672-foot-long shoulders, which would take about two years to build.
The proposition will be discussed this Wednesday at 6 pm in the St. Tammany Parish Council chamber, and the official Causeway Commission will vote on August 10 in Metairie. In past meetings, officials received negative responses from drivers to discuss safety improvement, but now the commissioners will take full responsibility when it comes to the vote.