Causeway officials have told residents attending a public meeting in Mandeville that raising the guardrails on the bridge and building 12 pull-out safety lanes couold cost $110 million.

Engineers from Texas A & M have been investigating ways to improve the margin of safety on the Causeway and reduce the number of crashes that have involved vehicles plunging into the Lake Pontchartain.

Since 1993, 12 vehicles have ended up in the lake and 9 persons have been killed. All but one of those crashes involved SUV's or pickup trucks.

The consultants from the university have presented two options on guard rail heights that could raise the rails by as much as 21 inches.

While Causeway officials have said they plan to seek federal funds to help cover the costs of any safety improvements, a toll increase may also be required.  The last time tolls were adjusted was in 1995.

It's too early to say how much tolls might need to be increased to fund the possible safety enhancements and when the tolls might have to be raised.