A local business owner is especially frustrated tonight following Governor Kay Ivey's announcement that the Mobile River Bridge Project is dead.

He had to sell his business to the state because it was to be demolished to make way for the new bridge.

The business is Southern Fish and Oyster Company, right next to the cruise terminal: a business that has been on the waterfront for more than 80 years.

Southern Fish

76 year old Ralph Atkins talked about what he was doing Wednesday when he heard that Governor Ivey announced the bridge project was dead.

Atkins said, "I was watching the news here in my den and I said, 'Oh, my God, lookie here.' This is what I predicted it was going to do."

Atkins closed his business in late April after he accepted a payment of $675,000 from the state.

Today, the building is still standing, but the business is gone, and now, according to Governor Ivey, the bridge project is dead.

When asked what he thought about having to sell his business and now the project is dead, Atkins said, "Well, it was disgusting, I am getting old, I still had another 10 years left in me."

But what especially frustrates Atkins is he wanted to leave the business to his son.

Atkins said, "He's the fourth generation to run it. That part, you wouldn't believe how disgusting it is?  They tore it up for nothing, put me out of business for nothing. That's the part that makes me ill."

Atkins says he doesn't think the state paid him enough and he's considering suing them.

But he says it would cost too much to reopen the business.

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

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