MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile and Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organizations have unanimously approved moving the project forward by including it in their Transportation and Improvement Plan.

According to members of the committees, this vote is one of the “most significant” steps in the project to date. When the effort began in December, the two committees agreed on a locally driven framework for the project. The Alabama Department of Transportation then began work to put together a plan that met the criteria of the framework.

Today’s vote was a landmark moment for Baldwin County. The Eastern Shore has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decades, and our infrastructure has not kept pace. Today’s vote paves the way for providing the traffic relief we need in a way that makes sense for Baldwin County drivers. As we move forward, the Eastern Shore MPO will continue our oversight of the project and our advocacy for the federal dollars this project deserves.

Jack Burrell, Eastern Shore MPO Chairman and Fairhope City Councilmember

Some details of the plan include:

  • A comprehensive plan with a new Mobile River Bridge and a new Bayway that meets capacity and safety needs and can be built in five years 
  • Free, no-toll routes on the Causeway, Wallace Tunnel, Bankhead Tunnel, and Africatown Bridge 
  • Toll options of $2.50 for passenger vehicles, and $18.00 for trucks 
  • An unlimited use option for $40 per month, which is under $1 per trip for daily commuters between Mobile and Baldwin Counties 
  • Toll revenue to be used only to pay down project debt, with tolling to end once the debt is paid off 
  • All infrastructure to be owned and operated by the State of Alabama, with no private concessionaire 
  • A contribution of at least $250 million in State funding, in addition to $125 million in federal funding through an INFRA Grant 

Construction on the bridge could begin as early as the end of 2023. It is expected to take 5 years to complete.