MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Alabama Department of Transportation confirmed $375 million in federal and state funding for the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project and said the projected is “financially viable” in a release from ALDOT Monday afternoon.

Earlier plans and a proposal for a new I-10 toll bridge first came over a year ago from members of both the Eastern Shore and Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organizations. In Dec. 2021, leaders believed the addition of a new bridge would best diffuse the heavy traffic congestion the city of Mobile is having.

The plan was approved in July 2022. The bridge will span the length of the Mobile Bay and is expected to begin construction as early as 2023.

“ALDOT is moving forward with this project, utilizing funds from the $125 million federal INFRA grant as well as a commitment of at least $250 million in State funding,” reads the release.

ALDOT said “further delay will only make the project more costly and disruptive as traffic congestion increases,” and they have decided the bridge construction “must move forward now.”

Mobile Mayor and Mobile MPO chair Sandy Stimpson said in the release that this is yet another step in the right direction for this project.

“Today’s announcement is a clear signal that the State of Alabama is serious about building this bridge,” said Stimpson. “Ultimately, we are further along in this process than at any point before and have a clear path toward solving the worst bottleneck on the I-10 corridor.” 

Eastern Shore MPO chair and Fairhope City Council member Jack Burrell reiterated Stimpson’s message and said, “this should be music to the ears of the thousands of drivers who are tired of sitting out on the Bayway or in the tunnels.”

Per ALDOT, the teams in charge of bridge design will submit their statements of qualifications by Dec. 21.

Plan details 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 or less for passenger vehicles, and $18.00 or less 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