MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) —- Governor Kay Ivey announced last night that the I-10 Bridge and Bayway project is dead. That after the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization voted to withdraw its support of the project. It’s one out of many hurdles to come in this planning process for the bridge. Many leaders tell News 5’s Amber Grigley, they are not surprised about the decision. The people have spoken and now it’s up to them to figure out how to fix it.
“It’s not anti-bridge. It’s anti-toll and that’s the way it should be worded,” said Jerry Carl, Mobile County Commissioner, District 3.
And in this case, the proposed toll for the Mobile Bridge and Bayway project did not stand a chance.
“I think the state did an absolutely horrible job of selling this idea and selling this program. Anytime you are going to come into an area that has a mayor or a county commissioner or city council member, they need to be involved. And I think we as elected officials really got left out of it,” said Carl.
Commissioner Carl said he doesn’t think the bridge project is dead and this push back is about the tolls. A proposed $6 one-way toll, as well as a $90 monthly option.
“We’re going to try a different avenue, a different plan. It won’t happen overnight, it’s not something you’re going to see this week. Right now we need to just let everything settle down and cool heads will prevail,” said Carl.
Mobile’s Mayor Sandy Stimpson took to Facebook saying he believes that given time, Governor Ivey would have been successful in finding an alternative. Which is what the Mobile MPO agreed to do last Wednesday. He goes on to say, “Our region is growing, tourism is booming and the city of mobile is adding jobs like never before. We need new infrastructure to accommodate that growth. I’m disappointed we could not find a path forward but we will continue to work with anyone and everyone to find consensus for a solution.”
A game plan many can get on board with for a project that has been in the makings for more than 20 years.
President of the Common Sense Campaign Tea Party, Dr. Lou Campomemosi says this is a great start. The MPO listened to the people. And now, the real work begins.
“If we can do that, then we’ll be in the position to say, ‘okay, yes we killed it, But we’ve also been part of the solution for resurrecting this and making sure that the needs are there, we all agreed we wanted the bridge, but it actually happens.”
A work in progress and a long journey ahead as for what’s next in the Mobile Bridge and Bayway plans.