Faced with having to pay a higher toll, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway commuters bought toll tags at a record pace in the weeks leading up to and following the May 6 fee hike. Bridge officials said they typically issued about 300 new tags per month.
The Causeway Commission has selected four firms to participate in a design competition to draw up plans to build sections of shoulder on the 24-mile bridge. At its recent monthly meeting, the commission chose AECOM, Design Engineering Inc., Modjeski & Masters Inc. and Volkert Inc. to provide initial design/development for the project, estimated to cost $50 million.
The perils of having to slow down on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway were illustrated in two separate crashes in May. A Causeway tow truck and a motorcycle were rear-ended while slowing to turn into a crossover, crashes that were recorded by cameras on the bridge.
The Causeway Commission on Wednesday kicked off what officials called a “first of its kind” design competition for improvements to the nearly six-decade-old Lake Pontchartrain bridge, giving four firms 90 days to draw up preliminary designs for adding segmented shoulders to the outside of each of the two 24-mile-long spans.
A toll-taker for the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway pocketed $4,400 during the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2016, according to an audit released this week by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.