Passing a long range Federal Transportation Bill is crucial to plans to build a new Interstate-10 bridge across the Mobile River.
The House recessed last week after Congress passed a transportation bill that provided funding only until October – the 34th extension since 2009.
That’s no way to do business say the people behind the proposed I-10 bridge over the Mobile River.
“You can’t do big massive long term projects like this on piecemeal funding,” said Mike Lee of the Build a Bridge Coalition. “You have to make commitments that stretch over years. To have to re-vote every three or four months puts off all the major projects across the country, not just ours.”
Local congressman Bradley Byrne is well aware of the problem and optimistic about a solution.
“In three months it’s my confidence that we will have a six year bill before Congress,” said Byrne. “Then we have to get our act together and pass long term bill so we can build these big projects across the country like the one in Mobile.”
Byrne did have good news about the bridge project Monday. Byrne says Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will visit Mobile on August 20th to get a firsthand look at the I-10 situation.
“I’m confident that once he comes here and meets with our mayor, our officials, and talks with people involved with it that he’ll see this is a national priority,” said Byrne.
“We are at the point that the only thing that can slow us down is funding,” added Lee. “So help from the top from the Federal Highway level, and especially from the Director’s level is going to critical to make sure everybody stays on track and we don’t lose any time. As you can see, it gets worse every day.”
Foxx was schedule to visit Mobile in May but cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather.