You have 60% Chance Of Getting In A Wreck This Summer

You have 60% Chance Of Getting In A Wreck This Summer

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Mobile, AL -

It's your worst nightmare. You're driving along the highway, vacation bound, and suddenly—you're stuck in dead traffic. Backed up for hours, break lights for miles.  Unfortunately it's something that happens in Mobile every weekend in the summer, rain or shine.

"One out of every three days, so that's an average of one-third of the year, we have over an hour backup at the tunnel," says Alabama Department of Transportation Region Engineer Vince Calametti.

Hours that add up and mean less time at the beach. On average, 81,000 cars pass through Mobile each day during the summer. That's significantly more than the 71,000 a day we're used to seeing in the off-season. With 76 traffic-related incidents on record between May 1st and August 31st, there's a 60% chance you could end up in an accident over the bay.

"I use the causeway a good bit to try and prevent that. I avoid that bridge at all costs to be honest with you," says Gaines Betbeze.

"It's way too crowded, especially during the summer time, like Fridays at 2:00 till 6:00 in the evening, it's really bad," says Lori Buhring.

"I went over to Malbis. We were backed up on the bridge before we even got to the tunnel," says Edward Anderson.

Relief may be on the way in the form of an $850 million bridge from Virginia Street, merging into I-10 past the tunnels. It's a song folks have heard for the past ten years. But the Alabama Department of Transportation is finishing up an environmental study and hope to start public meetings by the end of the year.

Calametti says the Wallace tunnel is the major point of congestion. In addition to a bridge, there are also plans for electronic signs to alert drivers to estimated travel times during peak hours.

"We're looking at placing more cameras, we're looking at placing more speed detection devices so that we can monitor the traffic flow earlier and hopefully divert traffic and let them know what the backup times are."

Until then, drivers will have plenty of time to practice patience.

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