Mobile, Eastern Shore MPO’s discuss new bridge concept

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Following the nixing of the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project, the Mobile and Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) have a new concept they hope will gain steam.

According to Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood, who serves on the Eastern Shore MPO, the concept would involve keeping the existing Bayway and Causeway intact and un-tolled. The new concept would create a new bridge, expressway-style, that would fork on and off the I-10 at Virginia Street, and connect back with access to and from Highway 98 on the other side of the bay, according to Haygood. While it’s still very much in the works, he hopes to keep the expressway toll-free as well.

Haygood says the project would cost $1.2 billion – in comparison to the previous project, which was estimated at $2.1 billion. The previous project also included a toll on the Bayway.

Haygood also says the new concept would not greatly interfere with existing traffic across the bay.

He emphasized the concept is still very fluid, and ALDOT is not involved yet. It will be discussed at next week’s MPO meeting on Wednesday.

“I don’t think anybody wants a misstep,” said Haygood. “I think everyone wants to feel around and make sure the state and ALDOT are comfortable with things.”

News 5’s received the following statement from ALDOT about the concept:

“The state’s position remains the same. We’ve heard that there are discussions happening on the local level, and we look forward to hearing those ideas.”

ALDOT Central Office Spokesperson

State Auditor Jim Zeigler will be addressing the plan at a meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at Five Restaurant on Dauphin Street.

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