MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Supreme Court of Alabama has denied a motion by Alabama Department of Transportation director John Cooper to continue work on a bridge in Gulf Shores over the Intracoastal Waterway while a lower court’s decision is being appealed.
The road and bridge already under construction came to an abrupt halt two weeks ago when a Montgomery judge ruled Cooper acted in “bad faith” when he made plans to build the bridge instead of negotiating a deal with the owners of the existing toll bridge.
The Baldwin County Bridge Company which owns the Foley Beach Express Toll Bridge, had asked for an emergency injunction to stop construction while they pursued a lawsuit claiming the new bridge was unnecessary and could put them out of business.
Statements from ALDOT and BCBC were released to News 5 shortly after Friday’s ruling:
“The Alabama Supreme Court has decided it wants to review the facts and full record before making a decision about the preliminary injunction. While we are disappointed the Court has left the halt to construction in place for now, we are optimistic that the final ruling on our appeal will be in favor of building the new, free bridge.” – Tony Harris, ALDOT spokesman.
“Today’s decision to keep the injunction in place is a victory for Alabama Taxpayers who would have been saddled with a $120 million bridge. Our client’s offer continues to be the truly free option which doesn’t cost taxpayers $120 million and charges no tolls for Baldwin County residents.” – Attorney Joe Espy representing Baldwin County Bridge Company.
Construction of the 375-foot, two-lane bridge began in October of 2022 in response to traffic congestion on Highway 59.