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GRAND ISLE, LA (WAFB) -
A state audit found several problems with the collection of tolls
on the LA 1 toll bridge in Leeville near Grand Isle.
The bridge isn't manned and people are expected to stop and
purchase a pass before crossing the bridge.
The audit revealed that Louisiana Transportation Authority
officials hadn't gone after some 300,000 potential cases where drivers crossed
the bridge without paying.
Critics say this is the state losing out on millions which would
normally be used to pay for the bridge.
"Those who are responsible for making the system work did not
do their jobs and we get left holding the bag," State Representative Patrick
"That's money that is not collected and somebody's got to pay for
it. It's going to be the taxpayers of the State."
The audit roughly covered last year.
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development officials
admit the audit revealed serious problems and they say they've already started
working on them.
"We're attacking that backlog really aggressively and we're
working with the Attorney General's office. They are helping us with those
collections and we're moving forward and starting to increase those
DOTD estimates toll collections are now at 95 percent.
Crews recently installed a box on the bridge that allows drivers
to pay the toll at the bridge crossing.
Louisiana has also contracted with Mississippi and Texas to
process violators from out of state.