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Congressional delegation voices support for Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project

The delegation urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve the state’s application for federal assistance.

Mobile River Bridge and Bayway
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All nine members of Alabama’s congressional delegation – stretching from north Alabama to the Gulf Coast – signed a letter expressing their strong support for the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, the delegation urges the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve the state’s application for federal assistance through the Mega grant program, which supports large, complex infrastructure projects that are difficult to fund by other means.

This grant application – as well as other pending grant applications – is in addition to the recently-announced TIFIA loan process that ALDOT has initiated with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In their letter, Alabama’s lawmakers stress the national significance of the project.

“While the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project does not extend across every congressional district in the state, we stand united in emphasizing how critical this transportation infrastructure is to the entire state, region and nation,” the letter states. “Spanning eight states, I-10 connects many of the country’s major cities and seaports, serves as a primary transportation artery for both travel and commerce throughout the United States, and is a major evacuation route given the Gulf Coast’s propensity for being in the path of major storms such as hurricanes.”

The project will build a new six-lane bridge over the river in downtown Mobile that would connect to an elevated and expanded Bayway to U.S. 98 in Daphne. Interchange improvements in Mobile and Baldwin counties are also included in the project.

The delegation noted that the Wallace and Bankhead tunnels in Mobile were built more than 50 years ago and carry three times more traffic than they were designed to. Likewise, the Bayway was constructed more than 50 years ago and is over capacity.

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“The new Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project will add needed capacity for all travelers as well as divert the majority of traffic onto the new infrastructure, including hazardous cargo away from Africatown, creating a safer and more efficient route for all,” members of the delegation wrote in their letter.

The letter is signed by Sen. Katie Boyd Britt, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, Rep. Jerry Carl, Rep. Barry Moore, Rep. Mike Rogers, Rep. Robert Aderholt, Rep. Dale Strong, Rep. Gary Palmer and Rep. Terri Sewell.

The Alabama Department of Transportation, the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organization recently concluded a 60-day review of cost-saving measures for the project.

In a statement released earlier this week, ALDOT and both MPOs said, “The project is essentially shovel-ready except for an inflation-driven gap in funding. Based on our progress – with all right of way acquired, necessary federal approvals secured, and federal loan processes initiated – we believe that the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project is the most advanced of any similar project in the country. ALDOT and the MPOs remain committed to this project, and we will continue to seek the additional federal funding we need to begin construction.”

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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