Louisiana governor denies backing tolls

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Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco denied backing tolls on Interstate 10 and I-12 after U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said her administration was pursuing them. The senator had said Blanco’s administration had submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation an “expression of interest” application.

On Aug. 11, the governor, a Democrat, said the Legislature merely instructed Johnny Bradberry, state secretary of transportation and development, “to pursue all options regarding transportation opportunities.”

“Whether they are popular or unpopular, we owe it to ourselves to explore every angle,” Blanco said. “The toll idea is one of many ideas Secretary Bradberry and his staff are compiling for consideration, but it’s dead on arrival.” If her administration were to consider it seriously, it would have to be introduced to the Legislature and decided by vote, she added.