SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) — Spanish Fort Mayor Mike McMillan has been outspoken about his concerns for months in terms of the causeway and Highway 31. He supports the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project, but he wants to make sure his city doesn’t end up with another problem.

“We gotta make sure the causeway and Highway 31 is adequately prepared to handle the problem,” he said.

He says a traffic problem already exists, especially in the summer months. He’s worried the toll-free causeway will create a traffic nightmare for drivers.

“The causeway longterm will be the only free route across there, so that’s what we’ve got to recognize. You’re also going to have the construction phases along with the new bridge. People are going to stay away from that. They’re going to go the causeway,” explained Mayor McMillan.

For months he’s been talking with the Alabama Department of Transportation asking ALDOT to take a close look at the causeway now before traffic gets worse. He supports the Mobile River Bridge & Bayway Project, but ultimately he knows we’re trading one problem for another.

“We’ve got to be prepared for additional traffic. People from Loxley, people from Daphne, people from Fairhope and Baldwin County in general are going to go the causeway. When there’s a backup on the Bayway they’re going to go the causeway, so naturally that’s what we’ve got to fight,” he said.

McMillan tells us he’s not an engineer and he’s not sure what updates can be made, but he’s putting trust in ALDOT to come up with a plan to keep traffic flowing in and out of Spanish Fort. So far those conservations have been positive, he says.

“I’ve had direct conversations with Director Cooper about this and the local office and I’ve received assurances they’re going to be looking at that, so we are moving forward with some type of plan,” said McMillan.

If the bridge project is approved construction could start late next year.