Toll Hikes Possible For Higher Pontchartrain Causeway Rails

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The general manager of the 24-mile-long bridge between Metairie and Lake Pontchartrain's north shore says better guard rails are in the works.

         Carlton Dufrechou says they'll probably cost about $70 million, and higher tolls may be needed to help pay the bill — though he'd rather avoid that.

         He tells WWL-AM’s Don Ames that he'd also like two-block-long shoulders added half-way between each of the seven cross-overs. He says that would triple the emergency stopping area, making it easier to get vehicles out of traffic after breakdowns or accidents.

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         He says low-interest federal loans would pay for one-third of the total improvements, and the state won't be able to help. He says Causeway leaders will be developing ways to pay for the plan in January.

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