ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WALA) - In the coming weeks, traffic will pick up on Highway 59 as thousands make their way to the beaches on Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
When Spring Break season and the summer vacation months pick up, driving gets a little more complicated for the locals in small towns like Robertsdale.
"I think everyone in the local communities can attest, especially on Friday afternoons and Saturdays, and Sunday afternoon we go almost to gridlock. Because of the traffic volume on 59. So we need to do something to kind of shove that to another route," Robertsdale Mayor Charles Murphy said.
That's what the Baldwin Beach Express interchange is expected to do: take a lot of the gridlock traffic to another route.
The Beach Express will meet the interstate at mile marker 49.
That shortcut could also take business dollars away for the communities as tourists start bypassing the small towns. However, Murphy doesn't think that will be a problem.
"I think it's going to take some traffic off 59, but I don't think it's going to take nearly the volume that everyone is speculating," Murphy said.
At the groundbreaking on Friday , Governor Robert Bentley said he didn't expect a negative impact on communities either.
"Will it be going right through those cities now, the traffic? No, a lot of it will come this way some will still go that way. But, I think it's going to help the entire county," Gov. Bentley said.
Mayor Murphy said beach tourism is the driving force in Southern Baldwin County which generates tax revenue for the state.
"If we could do something to the gulf to actually make it easier for people to go down there, five years from now we could be producing $140 million for the state, which Is a lot of money, and basically that helps everyone," he said.
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