In 1956, Elvis Presley was hip-shimmying his way into American hearts, the minimum wage went up to $1 per hour, and a trip back and forth across the newly built Lake Pontchartrain Causeway cost $2.
Nearly six decades later, Miley Cyrus has made twerking part of the nation’s lexicon and minimum wage is up to $7.25 per hour. But a trip back and forth across the nearly 24-mile-long Causeway is still just $2 with a toll tag.
A cash trip costs a dollar more, the result of the Causeway’s lone toll increase, some 19 years ago.
But now, the bridge’s managers are floating the idea of raising the toll, this time to pay for safety improvements aimed at preventing “overboards,” or accidents in which a vehicle goes off the bridge into the waters of Lake Pontchartrain. Those accidents nearly always result in fatalities and long delays, both when the accident occurs and again when the submerged vehicle is recovered.