Toll payment lane on La. 1 bridge boosts payments

Jul 19, 2012

The chief financial officer of the Department of Transportation and Development says a troubled toll bridge in coastal south Louisiana has increased its collections by adding a payment lane on site.

But DOTD Undersecretary Michael Bridges acknowledged the change last month also has encountered problems, including equipment failure, long lines and driver confusion.

The comments came Wednesday at a state transportation panel hearing about the bridge on La. Highway 1 in Leeville, which is just west of Grand Isle.

The bridge was part of an upgrade to a flood-prone area critical to the nation's oil and gas industry. But it has been plagued with problems since its opening in July 2009.

Until mid-June, toll payments had to be made at off-site kiosks, which led to confusion, criticism and unpaid tolls.