UPDATE 6:10 PM: Eastern Shore MPO vote to remove the toll bridge project from their Transportation Improvement Plan.
Hear’s Governor Kay Ivey’s response:
MONTGOMERY – Today, the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) met to vote on its Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), which establishes the area’s transportation priorities from 2020 to 2023. Among the items considered was the Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project. During the meeting, the Eastern Shore MPO did not choose to prioritize this project on its TIP.
Upon hearing that the local delegation failed to move this project forward, Governor Ivey released the following statement:
“With the action taken today, there is no pathway forward, and this project is dead. Moreover, without a project, there is no need for a meeting on October 7. I am thereby cancelling the Toll Road, Bridge and Tunnel Authority meeting.”
Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth released a statement siding with the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization.
His statement reads:
“Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood and the members of the Eastern Shore MPO should be commended for listening to the citizens they represent, giving voice to their concerns, and voting to end the ill-conceived and fatally-flawed toll bridge project connecting Baldwin and Mobile counties.
The strong stand taken by the MPO today should reaffirm all citzens’ belief in representative government and the power of public opinion.
The fact remains, however, that Alabama’s Gulf Coast region is experiencing explosive population growth, and traffic congestion throughout the area will only worsen with time. I urge Director Cooper and his ALDOT staff to go back to the drawing board and come back with a more sensible and scaled down bridge proposal that releases traffic pressure without the need for tolling the hardworking residents of our state.”
FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Members of the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization meet later this afternoon for a vote that could have a major impact on the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project.
This was such a highly anticipated meeting with such a large turnout expected the meeting location was moved from its usual spot at the Fairhope courthouse to now the Fairhope City Council Chambers on Section Street.
Just like the Mobile County MPO last week, the Eastern Shore MPO will take up a transportation infrastructure plan. Within the plan are line items concerning the bridge project. You may remember last week the Mobile County MPO tabled those items until after the governor’s meeting of the Alabama Toll Road, Bridge and Tunnel Authority in October.
Opposition to tolls on this project has only grown in the last several weeks. It may be such a political hot potato the Baldwin representatives may also table the bridge items and take them up later. Whatever the case a large turnout is expected this afternoon at 2.