GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — Gridlock on Pleasure Island is a common occurrence that has only gotten worse as millions travel to Alabama’s sandy beaches each year.

Traveling north and south, there are only two ways on and off the island. A third bridge has long been discussed and is now about to become reality.

“I was hopeful we were headed in that direction,” said Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft. “I knew the bids were good.”

The 53-million-dollar project got the green light from ALDOT earlier this week for a new public bridge over the ICW.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said part-time resident Tony Miller. “I want to compliment Gulf Shores and the community for pushing this.”

The bridge will be located near what locals call the “concrete curve”, just outside of the Orange Beach city limits but this won’t only impact traffic in Gulf Shores said Craft. “I think it gives all of us confidence that Highway 59 is not going to be as congested as it has been and continues to be. It gives us really easy, better access to health care.”

It also provides that all-important evacuation route when the next storm hits says Gulf Shores resident Steve Terrell. “If you had to get off in a hurry, I mean, it’s going to be a problem if it’s something like Sally that hits us real sudden when everybody was still here. I think it would be a big help.”

The new two-lane bridge will be free to motorists. Construction is expected to start by the end of October with completion in January 2026.