MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – The company that owns the toll bridge in Orange Beach has announced reduced rates for the summer season.
Rates for drivers will now be $2.75 for a one-way trip for any two axle vehicle that travels over the toll bridge at the Intracoastal Waterway. Locals will also a reduction in the toll prices. Previously, the rate was $3.50 and it will return to this rate after Labor Day.
The price for each additional axle will increase by $1 from the $2.75 for the summer season.
The changes are the result of pressure from both coastal communities on the toll bridge company American Roads, LLC to help address traffic congestion on the island. Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon had even threatened to build another bridge to bypass the toll bridge altogether. He along with Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said Wednesday’s announcement is a good first step.
After Labor Day, the tolls will go back to their original rate but there will be a five million dollar overhaul of the toll plaza and bridge that will include tag reader cameras that will read your tag and send you a bill for the toll. There will also be a re-stripping of the bridge that will add an extra lane so there can be two lanes going north or south depending on the volume of traffic.
A thousand cars an hour pass through the toll plaza, after the changes they hope that number increases to three thousand an hour.
The Beach Express is a major thoroughfare to the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Two years ago, the Beach Express completed an expansion to I-10 which alleviated traffic issues for Highway 59 in Baldwin County.