The Alabama Trucking Association, on Wednesday, filed public comments with the Mobile and Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organizations to express their members’ concerns over the proposed I-10 truck-only toll bridge that will span the Mobile River.
After the previous attempt failed, which included tolling all vehicles to pay for the $2.1 billion construction project, local MPOs will meet in early June to add this same $2.1 billion project back to their Transportation Improvement Plans. This time, the proposal rests on a truck-only toll bridge, with an estimated cost of $675 million, to initiate Phase I of the project.
Under the current concept, trucking would be responsible for shouldering 100 percent of the burden even though trucking is less than 10 percent of the traffic, and trucking is being forced to pay nearly the same amount of money as the state and federal government combined.
The Alabama trucking community believes in the need for congestion relief on I-10 and supports improving infrastructure including the construction of a bridge. However, there is a broad and strong consensus among Alabama truckers that the Alabama Trucking Association should not be solely responsible for paying for this project.
The Alabama Trucking Association, in a release, called upon the MPOs and the Alabama Department of Transportation to take their concerns seriously, and ask them to study all funding and design solutions to implement a plan that is fair and equitable to all stakeholders and solves the congestion problems facing the Wallace Tunnel long-term.
Having examined the Trucking Association’s concerns, ALDOT expressed confidence in moving forward.
“Our transportation legal experts have reviewed these issues and are confident there are no legal barriers to this concept of tolling large trucks that will benefit from using the truck-only bridge, including out-of-state trucks,” ALDOT said in an email to APR. “Constructing a new bridge for their use will improve the flow of traffic and increase safety for truckers and passenger vehicles so people and goods can move through the area more quickly and efficiently. This will save the trucking industry time and money.”
This report has been updated to include ALDOT’s response.