GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — After four months of legal red tape, you can hear the sounds of construction and crews back at work on the north shore of the Intracoastal Waterway.
They’re driving pilings for a two-lane bridge that one day is expected to span the waterway.
“They were finishing right where they left off,” Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said. “They were setting pilings. They had moorings in place.”
Across from the construction site, Phillip Case was watching while doing a little fishing.
“Whenever we come down we turn at Buc-ee’s to come here, and we have to find a way to get out to dodge the toll bridge,” Case said. “So when they said this would be a toll-free entrance, this is ideal for us.”
Just over a mile from the toll bridge, the new bridge has been a point of contention between the two coastal communities and what is the best option to address the increasing traffic congestion on the island.
“Our problem with the Highway 59 bridge is the reason I was strongly encouraging something new, something else,” Craft said.
He called the four-month delay “unfortunate” and is not ruling out more legal challenges.
But for now, work is underway and as for Case, the more ways to get to one of his favorite fishing spots is a good thing.
“The more exits the better. That’s the way I look at it,” Craft said.
Originally, the bridge was expected to be completed in early 2026.
If all goes as planned now, the earliest it would be finished is later that same year in the middle of hurricane season.