Audit: Thousands of tolls unpaid on Hwy. 1 bridge

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The state hasn't sought to collect thousands of unpaid tolls for crossing a south Louisiana bridge on the way to Grand Isle that has been riddled with collection problems since it opened.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office released an audit Monday that said 300,000 images taken of license plates for people who apparently didn't pay the toll on La. Highway 1 in Leeville remained unbilled when the last fiscal year ended, June 30.

In its audit response, the Department of Transportation and Development said nearly 200,000 violations won't ever be paid because the photos are unreadable or can't be matched to an owner.

Toll collections on Highway 1 have fallen well below expected income levels since the bridge opened in 2009. DOTD says it has worked to improve its collections.

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