Suspension of CCC tolls angers some leaders - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Suspension of CCC tolls angers some leaders

New Orleans, La. -

Mayor Mitch Landrieu doesn't mince words when it comes to his feelings about the election results on the Crescent City Connection toll proposition being nullified.

"I was very disappointed in the judge's decision and I think it was legally wrong," Landrieu said.

On Tuesday, a judge said the election results must be thrown out because almost 100 people were denied their rights to vote on the issue. Those people were given provisional ballots at their polling places, allowing them to vote in federal elections.

Mayor Landrieu says he worries about what will happen on the bridge without tolls to pay for things like trash pick up and maintenance. "I really do fear and I hope my fears don't come to pass, that you're going to see a much-less-taken-care-of bridge than you have in the past," Landrieu commented.

The mayor says less funding could mean more troubles for drivers. "I'm expecting much heavier traffic on the Crescent City Connection," he said.  "I'm expecting the lights won't be on. I'm expecting that's going to be harder to clear traffic and I think its going to make it harder for us day to day."

But Representative Pat Connick (R-Marrero) disagrees, saying, "It's a scare tactic because we had trash here for 10 years and he didn't say a damn thing about it.  Where was the concern with the trash and the grass not being picked up when we did have the tolls."

Connick says there's $15 million left over from tolls already collected that can be used to take care of the bridge. "If it's spent properly, it can last a long time," Connick said.

The new election to determine if the tolls stay or go will be held May 4.

In related news, 31 people hired by the DOTD to work on the Crescent City Connection will be let go on Friday.  

The department says the workers were hired on a temporary basis pending the outcome of November's election on the toll proposition. Those workers will no longer be needed after a judge Tuesday threw out the election results that called for tolls to be renewed.

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