Ainsworth comes out swinging against proposed I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge toll — ‘I find it to violate every conservative belief and principle I hold’
Even though the proposed I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge toll remains unpopular, Gov. Kay Ivey and Alabama Department of Transportation director John Cooper have signaled an unwillingness to abandon the proposal with an Alabama Toll Road, Bridge and Tunnel Authority meeting looming for October 7.
On Monday, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth struck a blow to the unpopular toll project by announcing his opposition.
In a video posted to Twitter, Ainsworth, a member of the nine-person toll authority, said he would vote against the project and suggested the toll structure was akin to “extorting” citizens.
A state that built the rockets that sent men to the moon should be able to find a way to build a bridge without extorting the citizens it seeks to serve.#LtGov #MobileRiverBridge pic.twitter.com/hTCl3ROhPA
— Will Ainsworth (@willainsworthAL) August 19, 2019
Remarks as follows:
“I’m Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, and I hold one of nine seats on the Alabama toll road and bridge authority. For the last several months, I have followed the proposed toll on the Bayway Bridge project. Quite frankly, I found it to violate every conservative belief and principle that I hold. The $90 monthly toll that ALDOT has proposed for the bridge will cost a two-parent working family almost $2,200 a year just to drive to work. That’s $2,200 a year that can be used for groceries, school clothes, utilities, mortgage payments, or countless other basic needs.”
“The plan to toll the Wallace Tunnel, which has been paid off and completely free for decades makes an already outrageous situation even worse. Families that cannot afford the tolls will be forced to drive miles out of the way, which raises their already high fuel costs or forces them to be held hostage in their home county because of simple economics.”
“For these reasons, I’m announcing today my firm opposition to the toll project that comes before the Alabama toll and bridge authority. I’ll be proudly casting a ‘no’ vote and standing with the hard-working families of Baldwin and Mobile Counties. A state that built the rockets that sent men to the moon should be able to find a way to build a bridge without extorting the citizens it seeks to serve. I invite you to join me to find a solution that embraces our conservative beliefs.”