Tolls, ferries and bridges … Oh my!

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What a simple question: should the tolls on the Crescent City Connection be allowed to expire at the end of the year?  Very simple question, not such a simple answer.

The question of keeping tolls or not on the CCC has come up before. The last time it was discussed, West Bank residents were promised 5 major road projects that were to be funded by the tolls. Not one of those projects even got started, much less completed.

Here’s more bad news: a recent audit revealed that less than 20 cents of every dollar collected actually goes towards the bridge. The CCC is apparently a money grab for certain folks and nothing more.

From that perspective, it’s an easy call: let the tolls expire.

Then there’s the dilemma of the ferries. These boats, which are necessary since a Mississippi River bridge at Chalmette has never been built, cost a lot more to operate and maintain than the money they take in.  The state legislature needs to come up with a plan to let the tolls expire on the CCC and keep the ferries fully funded and operational.

Our lawmakers may actual earn their money on this one.