MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Truck drivers say they are highly opposed to the latest I-10 toll bridge proposal across the Mobile River.
The proposal, which includes a toll bridge meant for just 18-wheelers, was unveiled on Monday by local leaders.
The plan not only includes the construction of a new, truck-only bridge that would have a toll, but it would also expand the Bayway to three lanes east and westbound, utilizing the existing shoulders for the new lane.
“The traffic congestion on I-10 is only going to get worse and a solution must be tackled now, we need a new and better way to move people and products across I-10 and the Mobile River. The conceptual plan being presented is a good solid plan that will accomplish good and worthy goals,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, who was one of the leaders that unveiled the proposal.
Local leaders believe the new bridge would remove large trucks from the Wallace Tunnel which they say would increase traffic flow by 40 percent and decrease average passenger car delays by approximately 60 to 90 minutes during peak travel time.
All existing routes would be protected from tolls and fees. Only trucks using the bridge would pay a toll, which they say would cost between $10 to $15 each way.
Truck drivers News 5 spoke with say they are highly opposed to the proposal.
“Cars should pay too because there are more cars on the road than trucks. Trucks drivers make the world go around because without truck drivers, none of us eat,” said Andrew Hudson, a truck driver.
Another truck driver, David, told News 5 the reason cars slow down near the Wallace Tunnel is because passenger vehicles cut off the truck drivers who are driving along I-10, forcing them to pump their brakes in order to avoid hitting small cars.
The new proposal is still in the planning phases but if approved, local leaders say construction could begin in 2022 and could take up to four years to complete.