Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Richardson, Texas (July 1, 2011) – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) and Electronic Transaction Consultants Corporation (ETC or ETC Corporation) today announced that they have reached a settlement agreement whereby the lawsuits between the two organizations have been withdrawn.
As part of the negotiated settlement, LADOTD and ETC have agreed on changes that will be made to the tolling systems used for the Crescent City Connection Bridge (CCCD) and the Leesville Bridge on Louisiana Highway 1 (LA1). Additionally, ETC Corporation will provide maintenance for the newly-completed toll collection system.
Because of the time that has elapsed since the initial dispute, multiple upgrades and efficiencies are now needed to support the tolling operations in Louisiana and bring them up to current industry standards. It is necessary for ETC to make these modifications and new efficiency upgrades because it is their proprietary system.
The settlement agreement releases an initial $1 million in funding being withheld by the Department based the disagreement between the state and ETC regarding system performance and provides for a newly-negotiated maintenance agreement. Once the tolling system is completed and passes system analysis testing, LADOTD will pay the remaining $1.5 million incrementally, as critical milestones are met and approved by the state, which will complete the funding of the originally contracted services.
The upgrades and maintenance agreement for both the CCCD and LA1 tolling facilities will cost the state $915,000 annually, which is standard for tolling maintenance costs for facilities across the country. However, the contract provides for flexibility in the maintenance agreement by allowing the reduction in cost based on the pending sunset of the CCCD tolls in 2012 and accountability with a performance-based structure. The maintenance agreement provides for monetary deductions for failure to meet documented maintenance performance standards.
In early 2011, LADOTD retained the services of a toll industry consultant, HNTB, to assess the toll collection systems and provide recommendations. HNTB provided information to better inform the legal negotiations between LADOTD and ETC Corporation.
LADOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas stated, "We are eager to see the citizens of Louisiana get the tolling service product that they deserve, coupled with the reporting and accountability elements that the state needs to provide oversight and management of its tolling facilities."
Tim Gallagher, Managing Director of ETC, stated, "We are very grateful for the Department’s willingness to restart discussions and work with ETC for the benefit of the project. ETC is extremely pleased to have resolved this matter in the best interest of both parties. We look forward to working closely with the Department to ensure that their toll collection systems provide great value to the State of Louisiana."
About LADOTD: The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, the Department supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, it is able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
About ETC Corporation: