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I-10 Bridge Listed as a Top 5 Most Critical Infrastructure Improvements in the Nation

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, May 16, the I-10 Bridge over the Mobile River was listed as one of the most pressing transportation projects in the country in a news article in ‘The Hill’ by Melanie Zenona. Constructing a new bridge over the Mobile River and widening the I-10 Bayway was among the five most important infrastructure projects according to Zenona.

Zenona wrote, “The current I-10 Bridge has been afflicted by bottleneck traffic, fueled by congestion from the Wallace Tunnel. Advocates for a new bridge say the project would boost the area’s economic competitiveness, as well as provide a safe hurricane evacuation route for the Gulf Coast. The Alabama Department of Transportation is currently assessing whether it can use a toll to pay for portions of construction or add bike and walking paths. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has even highlighted the importance of the $850 million project, traveling to Mobile and visiting with local leaders last year.”

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) agrees. In an earlier statement Byrne wrote, “Without a doubt, a new I-10 Bridge over the Mobile River is the most important transportation project for Southwest Alabama. Anyone who has driven on Interstate 10 during rush hour or on a Friday afternoon in the summer can likely attest to major traffic issues caused by the Wallace Tunnel. This project would boost our area’s economic competitiveness, provide a safe Hurricane Evacuation Route for the entire Gulf Coast, and boost tourism.”

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) has announced that they would “fast track” the design phase for the bridge project. ALDOT has reportedly settled on a bridge route and is moving ahead with the design phase while finishing the environmental impact study.

Byrne invited the federal Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, to visit Mobile to learn more about this project.

Byrne said, “With the I-10 bridge and the other projects, the number one obstacle standing in the way deals with a lack of funding. Unfortunately, our nation’s current source for funding transportation, known as the Highway Trust Fund, is running out of money. The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) receives funding from the federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel.”

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Other projects on Zenona’s list including updating and improving Washington DC’s Metrorail system; the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Cincinnati, Ohio with Covington, Kentucky; the $24 billion project to build two new tunnels under the Hudson river connecting New Jersey and Penn Station in New York City and add platform and station capacity in Penn Station; and replacing bridges over San Frasquito Creek in Palo Alto, California.

 

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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