- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Driving the 24 miles over Lake Pontchartrain could get more expensive next year.

The Causeway Commission voted Wednesday night to increase tolls on the bridge for the first time since 1995.

Local media outlets report the commission approved three staff recommendations that envision safety improvements to be paid for by a toll increase of $1 for toll tag users and $2 for cash customers, bringing the totals to $3 and $5 respectively.

Tolls are collected only on the southbound span.

Causeway officials want to use the extra revenue to pay for higher rails on the older southbound bridge and a series of new “safety bays,” short shoulder segments on both spans that will allow drivers to pull out of harm’s way in case of mechanical problems.

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