Decommission of CCC toll plaza begins - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Decommission of CCC toll plaza begins

New Orleans, La. — The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has begun the process of decommissioning the Crescent City Connection toll plaza. Meanwhile, refunds are being issued to drivers with money left in their toll tag accounts.

Less than a week ago, voters rejected a proposed renewal of tolls for the bridge.

The work involves the removal of electronic equipment from the 12 lanes on the bridge, according to DOTD.  There are over 15 pieces of electronic equipment per lane and all of it will be moved to a warehouse for storage.

DOTD says the work is being done at night to limit impact on traffic.

The attorney for Stop the Tolls, the group which worked to defeat the toll renewal proposition, is elated.

"That's huge, makes me smile. You know there are natural consequences of getting rid of the toll -- that's one of them," said Patrick Hand.

Opponents of the tolls say the system had been problematic for decades.

"It was just replete with problems and it had to go.  I am glad the people saw that, I'm glad we gave them a second chance to get out there and vote and to vote no, because it was important that we get rid of that tax," said Hand.

Hand wants the toll plaza demolished as soon as possible. He said not only is it a reminder of the tolls; he also fears it could one day lead to a return to the past.

"It's especially important to get that plaza down because if that plaza stays up, it may give someone the incentive in the future to try to bring these tolls back. So we need to get that plaza down," Hand said.

He maintains that the legislature could return tolls to the span in the future, without a vote of the people.  But to our knowledge, no one in the legislature has suggested that.

DOTD said it will continue work on the toll islands as well as long-term plans for the plaza.

It says since Thursday, more than $20,000 in refunds have been issued to people with toll tags and the process of refunds is speeding up.

"The first day was the toughest, but we made adjustments and have handled the increase in check requests well," said Rhett Desselle, DOTD assistant secretary for operations.

DOTD said to receive a refund, customers can go to the customer service center at 2001 Mardi Gras Boulevard. Customers can also send requests through the mail or by email at customerservice@geauxpass.com.

Forms can be picked up or downloaded from DOTD's website at http://www.dotd.la.gov/operations/cccd/requestrefund.aspx.

 

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