The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge is a fixed system of two parallel roads with no separation for different types of vehicles. It crosses Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, connecting the northern and southern suburbs of New Orleans. The bridge is nearly 24 miles long, with one of the roads slightly shorter.
History of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge
In the 1920s, Ernest M. Loeb, Jr. developed a project to create two artificial islands in Louisiana to be connected by a special system of bridges. In doing so, financing was successfully obtained through the sale of real estate promptly built on the islands. The Louisiana Bridge Company was formed specifically for construction, and in 1948 the first concept of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge was completed.
The opening of the two-lane span over the lake took place in 1956. The cost of the project was $46 million, which can now be equated to more than $340 million. In addition to the bridge, access roads on the north and south sections were designed and implemented at that time. The first major reconstruction was erected in 2005, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. A total of 17 spans were damaged, with the foundations intact, so the bridge was opened to emergency traffic and the toll was removed. The toll refund took place in October of that year.
Peculiarities of fare payments
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge was originally a toll bridge. The cancellations were only for emergencies with quick refunds:
- The fare for a two-axle vehicle is $2.75;
- For trucks, the fare is $5.50 and $75 (three- and four-axle, respectively);
- For five- and six-axle vehicles, the fare is $15 and $18, respectively.
Two main methods of payment are offered in both directions. The first is to buy a ticket for cash, the second allows you to pay electronically in a convenient way thanks to a data reading system.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway toll road is available 24 hours a day. If you drive without a ticket and pay electronically, you can go to the Louisiana Department of Transportation website and make the payment. Otherwise, a receipt will arrive in the mail along with a $25 fine.