Mobile Metropolitan Planning heard alternative bridge and bayway plan

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — There was nothing on the agenda of the Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organization about a new Mobile River Bridge and Bayway. But they did hear a presentation on an alternative plan being pitched by members of the Common Sense Campaign.

“What we’re trying to do here is get consensus from both sides of the pay …the eastern shore MPO is willing to look at a project from the state if it meets certain criteria,” said Kevin Spriggs, a member of the Common Sense Campaign who presented the plan.

The proposed plan would be a scaled-back version of the ALDOT plan that was killed last year. The major change is a four-lane expressway that would be built between the existing Bayway with limited exits. It would cost almost half as much as the other plan, a savings of almost $1 billion.

A handful of people from the Facebook group ‘Block the Mobile Bayway Toll’ were on hand for the meeting. One man expressed his concerns over any plan involving this much money, as a concerned taxpayer.

“I want to know what I’m paying for, I want to know the cost upfront,” said Scott Jones of Mobile.

Whether or not Spriggs and the backers of this alternative plan will get consensus remains to be seen. It’s unclear whether that plan would ever be put on the Mobile MPO agenda.

“Until ALDOT says this is something we can embrace I don’t think you’ll see this MPO take action,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

However, when the governor killed the plan, she said it was now in the hands of local people on the coast to come up with something they could live with.

“I take the governor at her own statement, she said we can’t move forward until they decide what we want to do down,” Spriggs said.

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