LOXLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — Voters in Baldwin County have a ballot question this November that would potentially extend the Baldwin Beach Express to I-65, but a toll would be used to fund the project. Tolls are highly controversial in southwest Alabama. It was the fight over a potential toll that killed the I-10 Bayway and Mobile River Bridge project.
Amendment 2 is asking voters to approve the creation of a toll authority to help fund the Beach Express extension. The issue hasn’t gotten much attention, but today supporters will hold news conferences. According to a website set-up to promote a “yes” vote on Amendment 2, supporters say the extension is needed to create a new evacuation route. Baldwin County has grown tremendously since Hurricane Ivan and they argue the infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with that. They say additional benefits include less traffic congestion, easier beach access, and economic improvements for businesses and job creation. The site says the money gathered by a toll would only pay for the extension and no other project. Supporters add that pre-existing evacuation routes and routes to the beach that don’t have tolls will still remain in place.
It’s not clear if voters will support this in November. A similar measure put to Baldwin voters in 2016 failed to pass locally.
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