Concerns over tolls, costs may end Mobile bridge project

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BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — A new bridge 215 feet above Mobile River, a higher bayway expanded to eight lanes and a price tag of 2 point 1 billion dollars. An ambitious project that may never happen.

“I don’t think that the bridge project that is currently proposed by the administration and ALDOT is going to move forward.” State Senator Chris Elliott says it’s time for ALDOT to go back to the drawing board and try again. “We have to go back to what we can afford and once we do that then we will know what we can design for but a design that is pie in the sky, a design there is no hope of funding, is almost doomed to failure.”

His colleague in the House, Representative Matt Simpson agrees. “If you take the Bayway out of the equation that eliminates 1.3 billion dollars and we are back down to 850 million instead of 2.1 billion and that is something more affordable that we can hopefully find a funding mechanism for without tolling.”

The proposed toll has now gotten the attention of voters statewide and the voices seem to all be saying the same thing. “We cannot afford all of that right now and that is why ALDOT and the administration have turned towards this tolling plan that has led to 6 dollar tolls in each direction,” says Elliott. “That is just untenable.”

During a meeting with Mobile and Baldwin County lawmakers ALDOT Director John Cooper said he would not force any project on anyone and that he would recommend to Governor Ivey that the Mobile and Baldwin County legislative delegation would be able to vote the project up or down.

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