NEW ORLEANS -- The Crescent City Connection no longer has the bright lights that once defined its spans.
What a difference a day makes. Thursday, the Crescent City Connection served as a sort of beacon in the city's skyline. Now, the only lights on the bridge are streetlights for drivers.
“I was very disappointed because I think they look really nice,” said Susan Mayeaux, of Algiers.
A judge has suspended tolls on the CCC pending an upcoming vote.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development says it can only afford to fund essential services and isn't even responsible for funding decorative lights in the first place. Instead, according to the DOTD, the task falls to local governments and a board called the Regional Planning Commission.
“We think it's too important to keep these lights on and send the signal to people we're open for business,” said Richard Pavlick of the Young Leadership Council.
The YLC, the non-profit that raised money to light the bridge more than 20 years ago, says the state is obligated to keep those lights on, and the YLC tried to save the lights earlier, but instead ran into bureaucratic red tape when trying to donate the funds.
“For us, it's about doing the right thing -- keeping the bridge lit,” said Pavlick.
Some lifelong residents of Algiers believe the move is a scare tactic ahead of another vote on the tolls.
“It's political,” said Jerry Conrad, of Algiers, “they're trying to show us, see what you caused is what they're trying to tell us.”
Others just want the lights back on.
“I hope we figure out a way to turn them on, this is a city dependent on tourism and aesthetics are everything,” said Maurice Opotowsky, of Metairie.