BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) Traffic at a crawl. The Bayway beyond capacity. The solution may be a new six-lane bridge but it’s going to cost you.
“Nobody wants a toll. We want the toll to be zero as well,” says Chairman of the Baldwin County Metropolitan Organization Jack Burrell. “But we also know on peak days that traffic is three times the capacity for the existing Bayway and we need a solution.”
MPOs in Mobile and Baldwin County think they have the answer. Announcing the toll schedule Friday for the project: $2.50 for cars, 18 dollars or less for trucks and an unlimited use option for commuters in Mobile and Baldwin counties. “I think it’s a great day for South Alabama with a monthly pass of only 40 dollars. The toll will be reduced to an average of a dollar each way.”
The original cost for the bridge was at 2.1 billion dollars. It is now estimated to cost closer to three billion due to inflation. The tolls will be used to pay off that debt according to Burrell. “Once it’s paid for, we also have it in writing that once it’s paid for the tolling will expire.”
The causeway, Wallace and Bankhead tunnels and the Africatown bridge will remain free to travel and will remain open during construction which is expected to take about five years to complete.
Driving the Bayway, especially during the summer months, considered a necessary evil by some could be a thing of the past if the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project is approved later this summer.