NEWORLEANS - On Wednesday morning, commuters from the West Bank did not have to pull out a dollar to get across the river.
Drivers were advised to not stop and travel at 25 MPH as they passed straight through the Cresent City Connection toll plaza.
A state judge, William Morvant, suspended the tolls after the result of November's vote to extend the tolls for another 20 years was thrown out.
Attorneys argued about 100 voters in Jefferson Parish were given provisional ballots and denied the right to vote on the toll issue. The provisional ballots contained federal races and not local ones.
Some testified in court that they were registered and active voters, but polling commissioners in their precinct could not verify their registration.
Because the toll renewal passed by only 36 votes, Morvant ordered a new election that is set to take place on May 4.
Timeline of the Crescent City Connection Bridge:
- The first span of the bridge opened in April of 1958.
- The second span opened in September of 1988.
- The tolls began on the bridge in 1989, then renewed in 1994 and were set to expire December 31, 2012.
- But in November 2012, there was a referendum to renew the tolls for another 20 years. It passed by a narrow margin.
- Upset by the outcome and the way the vote came down, the StopTheTolls.org group filed a suit for a recount, and in February 2013, it passed by 36 votes. The group then took the fight to court to have the votes nullified because some voters were given provisional ballots that did not allow them to vote on the referendum, they said.
- On March 5, 2013, a judge ruled that there is to be a new election in May 2013.