Lawmaker has plan to put tolls on Sunshine Bridge

Donaldsonville, La. - Less than a week after tolls were suspended on the Crescent City Connection, a Louisiana lawmaker has his eye on another bridge as a possible money-maker. State Senator Troy Brown wants to put tolls once again on the Sunshine Bridge, and plans to bring the issue up during the upcoming legislative session

Brown has been meeting with officials in Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes to tout his plan to charge drivers 50-cents each way. He estimates the tolls could generate more than $4 million a year.

The Sunshine Bridge originally collected tolls when it opened up until 1979. They were reestablished in 1989 and suspended again in 1999. The bridge connects Donaldsonville on the west bank of Ascension Parish with Sorrento  and Gonzales on the east bank, leading into St. James Parish.

The bridge is a convenient river crossing for residents of Baton Rouge, Hammond and the Florida Parishes to travel to the Bayou cities of Houma and Thibodaux. The bridge plays an important role in storm evacuation and in industrial development along the Mississippi

Senator Brown says if the tolls are approved, his plan would split the revenue equally among the state and the three parishes.