MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, in an editorial released online, rebuffed calls to slow down the project saying that “seems unwise.”
The Governor said, “Slowing down a project that is almost a quarter-century old seems unwise. The cost of doing nothing is too high and no one is suggesting it will get any cheaper if we just wait.”
The Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project is estimated to cost $2.1B. The Alabama Department of Transportation has called for tolls of $6 per car on the new bridge and bayway, and for using the Wallace Tunnel.
The idea of tolls has drawn criticism from many, including the Common Sense Campaign, and some 46 thousand people who joined a Facebook page, ‘Block the Mobile Bayway Toll,’ that was started by State Auditor Jim Zeigler.
Zeigler’s response to the op-ed, which was subsequently posted on the Facebook page said, “We are asking the governor to hit the pause button on (the Alabama Department of Transportation’s) plan to put a hurtful toll on the I-10 Bayway. The cost of ALDOT’s toll plan is … too high,” Zeigler said. “The toll plan would put thousands of families in financial trouble.”
The Governor went on to say, “I am sensitive to those legitimate concerns of what a toll would do to working families, lower and middle-class citizens, small businesses, students and the elderly. However, there are also countless individuals who would like the option of choosing a safer, less congested route across the Mobile River and Bay – even if it means that route will come with a toll.”
The Governor has scheduled a meeting of the Toll Road, Bridge and Tunnel Authority for October 7th in Montgomery and invited people to present alternatives to the plan.