Should Louisiana ban tolls on roads, bridges? New Lake Charles bridge may be on the line

source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/94674772@N03/19133063382/ Author: Jack Miller

source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/94674772@N03/19133063382/ Author: Jack Miller

Greg Hilburn | Lafayette Daily Advertiser

A Louisiana House panel Tuesday rejected a bill that would ban the state from placing tolls on existing highways and bridges, fearing it could halt plans for new bridges in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles.

Tolls are already technically prohibited for existing bridges and roadways, but there’s a catch. Tolls can be enacted if there are improvements made to the existing infrastructure.

Republican Lake Charles Rep. Les Farnum’s House Bill 814 would have eliminated that loophole.

“Literally if you (paint) stripe a road to improve it you can toll it,” Farnum said.

But after an hours-long debate members of the House Transportation Committee killed the bill on a 6-9 vote.

“I am very concerned because I do think it affects other parts of the state, not just Lake Charles and Baton Rouge,” said Republican Baton Rouge Rep. Barbara Freiberg, who opposed the measure.

Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn Wilson said the state has already started a procurement process to secure a private partner to replace the … Continue Reading Full Story >>>

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