After November’s narrow victory for the pro-CCC tolls crowd, opponents looked for traction anywhere they could find it.
After a recount doubled the victory to a mere 38 points.
Tuesday afternoon, a judge in Baton Rouge delivered the news desired by people who want the tolls to end. He threw out the election saying voters who signed provisional ballots were disenfranchised and ordered a new election for May 4t.
A little after 4:30, workers on the Crescent City Connection’s toll plaza stopped collecting money and began waving drivers through fare free.
WGNO News told drivers at the end of the line to get to the bridge that the free ride was on the way.
“Oh, really?” said one.
“Wow! That’s great,” commented another.
Not everyone is glad to see the election’s result go. Many elected leaders in the area say the tolls are needed for the cost of upkeep on the bridge.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu released a written statement.
“The tolls on the CCC are necessary to maintain this important infrastructure, which is critical to enabling our regional economy. We will continue to fight waste and abuse. Our goal has been to ensure that there are available funds to maintain and light the bridge and ensure the overall safety of drivers,” Landrieu’s statement reads.
Drivers who spoke with WGNO News said they expected a different outcome during the May election because they expect more people to show up and vote “no”.
“I think this time, with all the fuss, it will raise the awareness. I think more people will probably show up,” one driver said.
“Hopefully enough people will get out and vote. Everybody’s aware of it now,” said another.
Louisiana State Police recently took over patrol duty for the CCC and plan to continue their work for the forseeable future regardless of the judge’s ruling.