Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — Recently, the city councils of Spanish Fort, Daphne, and Fairhope endorsed an alternative plan for a new Mobile River Bridge and Expressway to the Eastern Shore. That comes on the heels of the Eastern Short Metropolitan Planning Organization endorsing the same plan.
But, there is another proposal from a high ranking member of the state senate that could be less costly and avoids tolls.
Since last year, State Senator Greg Albritton has said he has a pared-down proposal for a bridge and expressway. Albritton is the chairman of the Senate General Fund Finance Committee. The difference in his plan and one now being proposed by Common Sense Campaign President Dr. Lou Campomenosi, and businessman Kevin Spriggs—no exits.
“The plan that was adopted by the Eastern Shore has entrances and exits and I just disagree with the amount of money they propose that’s going to cost,” said Albritton.
For their alternative plan, Campomenosi says Exit 35 for the Eastern Shore is preserved.
“Exit 35 is the key to what’s going on for the Eastern Shore and they need to have exit 35. Unfortunately, the alternative plan that’s out there just bypasses exit 35,” he told News 5.
Both plans call for an expressway from Virginia Street in Mobile to the Eastern Shore. Existing infrastructure, the Bayway and Causeway, would be left intact, with no tolls. Both plans would cost half as much as the Alabama Department of Transportation plan that died last year.
Albritton estimates his plan at $1.1 billion. Campomenosi says keeping exit 35 adds about $30 million to the cost.
“Whenever you start putting those exits in, that’s when the cost jacks up very much so,” said Albritton.
When she pronounced the $2.1 billion ALDOT toll plan dead last year, Governor Kay Ivey said she was open to hearing alternative plans from local people that everyone could agree on. Campomenosi and Spriggs say that’s why they are hoping to build consensus around their plan with local organizations, to get the ear of both the Governor and ALDOT.
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