Eastern Shore, Mobile MPOs announce new I-10 bridge plan

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 12:06 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The chairs of the Eastern Shore and Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organizations today announced a plan for a new Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project, which was prepared for the MPOs by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

According to a news release, the plan meets the framework laid out by the MPOs in December 2021, including the following:

• A comprehensive plan with a new Mobile River Bridge and a new Bayway that meets capacity and safety needs and can be built in five years

• Free, no-toll routes on the Causeway, Wallace Tunnel, Bankhead Tunnel, and Africatown Bridge

• Tolls of $2.50 or less for passenger vehicles, and $18.00 or less for trucks

• An unlimited use option for $40 per month, which is under $1 per trip for daily commuters between Mobile and Baldwin Counties

• Toll revenue to be used only to pay down project debt, with tolling to end once the debt is paid off

• All infrastructure to be owned and operated by the State of Alabama, with no private concessionaire

• A contribution of at least $250 million in State funding, in addition to $125 million in federal funding through an INFRA Grant

“This is a great day for Baldwin County,” said Eastern Shore MPO Chair and Fairhope City Councilmember Jack Burrell. “Baldwin County is the fastest growing county in Alabama, and this plan addresses some of our most important needs. I’m thrilled that this plan creates an option for commuters to Mobile to cross on a new bridge for under $1 each way. We will continue to work toward new federal funding to lower costs on Alabama taxpayers and drivers as this project moves forward.”

“Moving forward with this plan is a milestone in the history of Mobile and South Alabama,” said Mobile MPO Chair and Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. “This bridge is a key component to Mobile’s future growth – it connects workers to jobs and businesses to new customers. Building this bridge will be a cornerstone of Mobile’s future success.”

The MPOs will consider and vote on this plan at their meetings over the summer, according to the announcement. Scheduling, public comment, and hearing details will be made available on the Eastern Shore and Mobile MPO websites, the news release stated.

Following MPO approval and finalized funding, construction of the new Mobile River Bridge and Bayway would begin in late 2023 and be complete by 2028.

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