MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — It was a packed room Tuesday morning at Mobile’s GulfQuest National Maritime Museum.

“That is an overflow crowd in there of various construction firms, engineering firms and people that are just interested in this project,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

Industry leaders are learning more about the I-10 Mobile River Bridge & Bayway Project during a forum hosted by the Alabama Department of Transportation and both the Eastern Shore and Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Officials gave the audience an idea of what’s needed as the project moves forward.

“There’s probably thousands of pages of specifications that they have to meet and so they’ll put their best foot forward after this and come forward with design aspects, whether it impacts the environment, they have to look at financial models as far as what’s the cost going to be,” said Eastern Shore MPO Chairman Jack Burrell.

The specific needs and numbers were discussed behind closed doors, but Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said the meeting generated a lot of new ideas and helped certain businesses connect with others. It’s what ALDOT calls a Design Build Process. Eventually firms will be selected to help with the project based on their expertise and some of those firms could be chosen from Tuesday’s meeting.

“You may have some new players at the table now and you may have some new consortiums that will come together that have been working with each other over the past couple of years and create an even better pathway forward,” added Stimpson.

In July the bridge project was placed on the TIP, which is the Transportation Improvement Plan. Officials expect work to begin late next year.

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