The lights that have helped define the Crescent City Connection bridge will fade from the night skyline of New Orleans -- at least for now. The state Department of Transportation announced Friday the bridge will go dark.
The DOTD says it no longer has the money to light the bridge after a judge suspended the tolls on the CCC.
According to the DOTD, the decorative lights cost about $60,000 a year to operate and maintain -- $15,000 of which goes to pay the electric bill.
The Young Leadership Council spent the past few days offering to use its own funds to temporarily cover the cost of the lighting. The YLC says it will continue to work toward a short- and long-term solution.
“I think at this point, yes, it does come on all of us to say that we need to keep these lit and show the world that we are a world-class city,” said Richard Pavlick of Young Leadership Council.
Currently, there is no agency willing to accept the YLC's offer. A city spokesman says Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration has not been involved in efforts to keep the decorative lighting on beyond this weekend.
The Regional Planning Authority, which was appointed to oversee the bridge operation, cannot act without a vote of its board.
“The Department of Transportation just cannot enter into a contract with an individual or a group like the YLC,” said state Rep. Austin Badon. “They have to enter into an agreement with a local municipality or some organization like the Regional Planning Commission.