GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — After almost 10 years of planning and permitting, the city of Gulf Shores is a step closer to getting a new bridge and a new alternative to travel to and from the coastal community.
Some call it a bridge to nowhere, a new span across the Intracoastal Waterway between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Now, the permitting process has been completed, and the Corps of Engineers says the project can move forward. “Having another way to get off the island is real important, and we’re obviously very supportive and looking forward to this happening,” says city spokesman Grant Brown.
The progress has come at a cost for several home and property owners. “It hasn’t been fun,” including Tony Diliberto, who surprisingly has always been supportive of the bridge even though it cost him his home of 47 years. The state taking his home and property for a proposed road from Foley Beach Express leading to the new bridge. “It turned our life upside down and there was a lot of stress, 10 years, but we’ve always been for it.”
The Corps says the bidding process could begin as soon as the end of next month with construction beginning in August, although the Alabama Department of Transportation, who will build the bridge, says that is unlikely.
Diliberto says whenever it happens, “it’s priceless, the bridge is going to be great.” He, for one, can’t wait to see it.
ALDOT says the bidding process is several months away. Once construction begins it will take about two years to finish.