Bankhead Tunnel Re-Opens After Inspection

Bankhead Tunnel
Road closed signs in front of the Bankhead Tunnel in Mobile.

Frustration for drivers who found out almost too late their chosen route to downtown Mobile was shut down.

“It is a mess down there,” says Ashby McBride. “Everywhere it looks like they have water trucks on the side of the road. It looks like chaos, They don’t know what’s going on and traffic going through the water and they trying to divert traffic through the city too.”

Whether you backed up, drove around, tried to get through, the only way to get where you were going for most of the day was to go out of your way.

“It’s already bad anyway so I can’t imagine everybody trying to divert over to the interstate to get to the Wallace Tunnel,” says Becky Lund who had no plans to drive back into downtown.

Built almost a century ago, the Bankhead Tunnel is Mobile’s first tunnel. It took three years to build and opened in 1940. At least for a while it provided a faster way to travel east and west, with a more direct route to Mobile from the causeway.

Traffic slowdowns, especially involving the tunnels, are nothing new. A lot of motorists point to traffic headaches like the ones today as another reason to build a bigger and better bridge across Mobile Bay.

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