MOBILE, AL (WKRG) Mayor Sandy Stimpson agrees the Mobile River Bridge needs to be built—and fast.
“When you think about the flooding, you think about the vulnerability that we’d have if something were to happen to the causeway,” says Stimpson.
We saw plenty of flooding Thursday in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Cindy, causing terrible backups on the bayway.
“Somebody told me yesterday that they left the Mobile Infirmary, and to get to Daphne it took them 2 ½ hours,” says Stimpson.
And there’s just something about a bad travel experience that makes people want to share their stories.
“I’ve been late to work multiple times coming back from my sister’s house because of wrecks in the tunnel and having to take the causeway and it being backed up also. Do you want it to be faster to get to Aunt Berta’s house? Yeah!” says Emily McKleroy and her daughter Ophelia.
Stimpson posted recently about the bridge on his Facebook page, with over 1200 comments—most of them in favor of building it. The bridge would include six lanes of traffic over the river and will add four lanes to the existing four over the bay.
And with all the growth planned for Mobile, the situation could get worse before it gets better.
“We’re getting ready to have Wal Mart distribution center, Amazon sortation center, you will have growth at Brookley, and the I-10 corridor has got to function better than it is now or you will not experience the growth in this geographical area if you don’t have it,” says Stimpson.
Alabama Department of Transportation Director John Cooper will be in Mobile next week and will meet with Mayor Stimpson and give more of an update about the bridge. It’ll cost between $1.1 and $1.7 million. One of the topics of discussion will be how to pay for it. They will most likely talk about drivers paying a toll, but it won’t be the kind that you have to stop at, they’ll just take pictures of your car tag and bill you later. No word yet on how much that toll would be.