Commuters react to CCC toll renewal - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Commuters react to CCC toll renewal

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Election officials at Tuesday's vote count announcement Election officials at Tuesday's vote count announcement
New Orleans, La. -

Some commuters now forced to pay tolls on the Crescent City Connection for another two decades aren't too happy with Tuesday's outcome.

News of tolls continuing on the CCC for another 20 years didn't take long to get around.

"We use the toll everyday, three or four, five times a day, throughout the day," said Algiers business owner Dannell Hunter.  "I think it's bad for business, and it's bad for the people that have to commute... If you live in this area, and you go to the toll bridge during a certain time of the morning, traffic is backed up so far, it's almost like you can walk faster where you go."

"I will not challenge it because I think I did what I could, but I'm not... there's some attorneys looking at it, and I think they will go forward with it," said State Rep. Patrick Connick of Marrero.

Connick, one of the most vocal figures in favor of ending the tolls, says now it's time to demand better use of the money.

"You're looking at $50,000 in cash a day, and it's a lot of money.  But where does that money go?" said Connick. "A lot of it goes to the operations and none of it goes to the maintaining or improving of the structure."

Connick says he's getting a number of emails and phone calls from upset people. Some are surprised the tolls were upheld.

"Honestly, I didn't think it would pass. I think it's seldom that people put a tax on themselves, and if you have a chance to vote on getting rid of a tax and to pass it again, I was surprised, I really was," said North Shore commuter Rob Reidenauer.

"As long as the money is actually spent on the bridge and locally, I'm in favor of it," said Lakeview commuter Tiffany Davis.

"I just feel like they could do without it," said West Bank commuter Jenny Morgan.

Now that commuters know the final decision, some wonder if it was worth the fight.

"But I'm willing to continue the work, and expose what needs to be exposed with the business community to make it better," said Connick.

This renewal does not impact plans for management of the bridge to be transferred to the state's Department of Public Safety next year. The transition has CCC officers being trained this week to become DPS officers. State troopers are patrolling the bridge during the training.

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