Toll protest

Word of tolls to drive across the new Mobile River Bridge led to a protest outside the Alabama Department of Transportation, or ALDOT, office in Mobile Wednesday

While ALDOT officials were making their presentation to the news media Wednesday morning on tolling options, several people opposed to the toll held a protest outside.

Six people marched holding signs saying "No Toll."

They had heard about the discounted tolling plan, but weren't impressed by the details.

Alec Thigpen of Spanish Fort said, "It makes me even angrier at their arrogance that we should accept a toll not only on a new bridge but on an existing bridge that is 45 years old."

Michael Dominguez said, "There's other ways to pay for a bridge, you can have a lottery, you can have a casinos on the coast, you can have gambling, you can legalize marijuana, tax it."

After the presentation to the news media, ALDOT Director John Cooper met with people who had questions about tolling and other issues, and some expressed concerns, like cost.

A woman told Cooper, "You have no idea what a 90 dollar fee a month can impact a family?"

Cooper said, "Yes, ma'am, I know what 90 dollars..."

But, then, the woman said, "Well, if you knew, then this wouldn't even be on the table."

A man asked Cooper, "Have you considered port fees or maritime fees for the ships that come in here, the tankers and stuff?"

Cooper said he hadn't.

Many drivers we talked to had heard about the tolling plan, too.

Among the comments:

"I think it's too high, especially, I'm retired now, but I used to live in Spanish Fort and work in Mobile, I think its way too high twice a day."

"It's too much money, it's very expensive, it's breaking people's pockets."

"I think its ridiculous. I don't think the residents should have to pay to go across the bridge if you live here."

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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