Covering Louisiana

Aug 30, 2014 9:23 PM by AP

La. issues $3 million in toll refunds

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - More than $3 million in Crescent City Connection toll money has been refunded to account holders, state Treasurer John Kennedy said.

Nola.comThe Times-Picayune reported the money was left behind by drivers who failed to claim the balances after voters rejected a 20-year extension of the tolls in 2013.

Kennedy said $3.1 million was returned to 127,359 toll account holders through the program, which ended June 30.

The Department of Transportation and Development initially handled the reimbursements, but residents complained about the process and accompanying paperwork. Legislation shifted the responsibility to Kennedy's department, which handled the disbursements through its unclaimed property division.

The bridge crosses the Mississippi River at New Orleans and is a major commuter route from Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes and New Orleans' Algiers neighborhood.

The Treasury Department received $7 million in toll money from the transportation department. Of that amount, $5 million was left in accounts. The remainder was cash paid by drivers who passed through the toll plaza, treasury spokeswoman Michelle Millhollon said.

"I'm thrilled we were able to return this much money," Kennedy said. "I wish we could have returned every single penny, but I'm very proud of what we achieved."

The law requires the remaining balance to be split 70-30, with most of the money paying for lighting on the bridge and the rest for the Algiers ferries.

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