ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) - The Independence Day weekend is one of the busiest and most important times of the year. It loads businesses with patrons and packs the coast with thousands of beach goers.
But it does the same thing to roads. Beach roads were often packed bumper to bumper over the weekend and Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon says it's gotten out of control.
"I want to apologize to our local folks and our tourists. It's been a nightmare. Our emergency personnel couldn't get around. Our police were tied up with traffic duty. It is just inexcusable. These are state roads and there's not a darn thing we can do about it," said Kennon.
Kennon says he's received numerous complaints about the situation, which he says has increased dramatically over the last few years.
"Growth is good but it's so important that it doesn't outgrow the infrastructure or support system. Unfortunately, that's where we're at. It makes it hard to want to live around here because going to get a loaf of bread is a nightmare," Kennon said.
Now he's hoping for help.
Kennon put up a sign over the weekend near city hall asking for the public to call state officials in Montgomery, who he says have had three options to reduce the traffic situation on the table for years.
He says the three options include widening roads through the state park, widening canal road in Orange Beach and building a bridge over Wolf Bay.
"I don't want to come off sounding like we're whining. It's a business decision in my mind. This tourism industry sends truckloads of money to Montgomery and the county. So you'll kill the golden goose if you don't provide the infrastructure to support what you continue to grow," said Kennon.
However, Mayor Kennon says it isn't just Orange Beach facing this issue. He says beach roads from Gulf Shores to Perdido Key share the same problem.
"I'm asking the state for help. Let us move forward with something, whatever it is. But you can't keep bringing people down here and not provide the infrastructure to move them," Kennon said.
If you've experienced issues and you'd like to voice your opinion, you can do so by contacting the Alabama Governor's office.
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