Causeway Commission proposes safety lanes, guardrails on bridge

As it pushes to improve safety, the Causeway Commission considers some big changes to the bridge over Lake Pontchartrain.

Commuters will soon be asked to consider whether they're willing to pay higher tolls for a $100 million program to add safety lanes.

Right now, when a car or truck breaks down on the Causeway, the consequences can be dangerous. There are no safety lanes, and there are up to eight breakdowns every day on the bridge.

Now, the Causeway Commission is considering a program to add up to 12 areas of safety lanes for cars to pull over in case of emergency.

"What we're proposing to do is to add what we're referring to as safety shoulders or bays halfway between each crossover," says Causeway Commission General Manager Carlton Defrechou.

The shoulders would be two blocks long on both sides of the northbound and southbound bridge.

The rough cost for those safety lanes is about $50 million. The Commission is also considering guardrails which would be an additional $50 million.

The public will soon be asked to weigh in on both plans since an increase in tolls is an option to pay for the enhancements.

Follow FOX 8:    

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.