MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- Alabama has been awarded a $125 million federal grant to help pay for construction of a new I-10 bridge over the Mobile River.
The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program. Another grant of about $7 million was awarded to Alabama for a project in Tuscaloosa.
In a news release, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby wrote, "Investing in essential infrastructure in Alabama and across the country promotes a more prosperous future for our nation. I thank [Transportation] Secretary Chao for her attention to these projects and look forward to continuing my work to ensure that our state is well represented in any effort to fund federal transportation priorities.”
The Alabama Department of Transportation said the total cost to build the Mobile River Bridge and expand the Bayway will be around $2.1 billion. State officials have insisted that the bridge cannot be built without tolls.
ALDOT has proposed a toll of $6 per vehicle with the option for drivers to purchase a $90 monthly pass.
The toll plan has created a great deal of opposition with people worried about how expensive their daily commute might become.
Congressman Bradley Byrne wrote, “Today is a positive step toward making this project a reality, but our work is not over. The current tolling proposal for this project is unacceptable, and I will continue leading the fight against tolling and working to ensure this project helps – not hurts – the people of South Alabama.”
At a town hall meeting in Prichard Friday morning, Rep. said state officials need to examine cutting the cost of the bridge and possibly shrink the scale of the project to avoid tolling drivers.