MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — For most of this year, when it comes to talking about the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project, the word ‘toll’ has become an ugly one, with a proposed $3 to $6 price tag. Officials with the Alabama Department of Transportation say they are listening.
“We are looking at a better frequent user discount,” said Public Information Officer Allison Gregg.
That information could be out by the end of July, but unless it’s much more than the 15 percent discount already proposed, it’s not going to help people like Neal from Spanish Fort, who called into FM TALK 1065’s Midday Mobile show.
“12 times a week—six dollars a time, I’m going to end up spending about 35 hundred dollars a year,” he told host Sean Sullivan.
Gregg says ALDOT has taken comments from as many as 700 people over the past few weeks, but there is fast-growing concern by thousands on social media over the tolls, and how they would affect local users of the new bridge and bayway.
And, Gregg says the group is also working to try to secure some federal money for the project, despite statements by some elected officials to the contrary.
“Aldot is actively seeking an array of federal funding. We are working with the U.S.D.O.T. And the Build America Bureau on a very regular basis to bring federal funds to this project,” she said.
The project has been in evolution since 2014 when it started out as a new Mobile River Bridge with a price tag of about $800 m. The cost escalated to $2.1 b when ALDOT decided the bayway also needed to be raised and expanded.
“It’s such a massive and high structure that it’s going to take a while for it to come back down to the level of the bayway. So it just makes economic sense, even though the price went up for us to make those changes now,” she said.