It can be time-consuming and even dangerous.

“It’s something that I am very conscious of when I come into the tunnel,” says Fred Wheeler.

Fred Wheeler has to cross the bay several times a month on his motorcycle and often uses the Water Street ramp to get onto I-10.

“For people trying to enter from the ramp, it forces people that are in the lane of traffic next to you into your lane,” says Wheeler.

Wheeler has ridden a motorcycle for over 40 years and has had more than a few close calls on the ramp.

“I’ve actually had to take and actually get out of the lane of traffic into the runoff lane, what little there is,” says Wheeler.

Alabama Department of Transportation officials want to close the on-ramp and make drivers take an alternate route…one that would take them down Canal Street, left on Claiborne, and take a u-turn on Texas to get onto I-10 eastbound.

“It’s got to be better than what we have now. Cause that short little entrance ramp to get into the tunnel now, that’s just not enough space,” says Winston Kennamer.

“I wouldn’t see a problem, no. They’ve got to do something. Traffic is so backed up in the afternoons and in the mornings, it’s unreal,” says Patsy Poiroux.

Folks who work downtown who disagree with the closing of the Water Street ramp say the alternate route is just too much out of their way to make it worth it.”

“I think that’s a little craziness, it’s going to take a lot of people out of their way to commute, so,” says Carletta Granderson.

“No, no, not at all, it would be horrible, it takes us long enough to get home! So it’s horrible!” says Kara Tucci.

“It’s too much inconvenience than it is more convenient,” says Gene Brown.

ALDOT wants to hear your opinions. You can email, fax or send a letter, but you need to do it by 5pm Tuesday, June 28th. If it’s approved, ALDOT will start work as early as this fall to be complete by next summer.

Send emails to, send a fax to 251-473-3624, or send a letter to:

Vince Calametti, P.E.,

Region Engineer, Southwest Region

Alabama Department of Transportation

1701 I-65 W. Service Road North

Mobile, Alabama 36618