Byrne on opposing new Mobile Bay Bridge toll: ‘I’ve pretty much done as much as I can do’
With just under eight months until Alabama Republicans go to vote for who they want representing them on the general election ballot in a match-up that will likely be against incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), there is one issue that could be make-or-break for campaigns in southwestern Alabama — the proposed toll for the new I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge.
During the summer months, which is usually a slow time for local politics, the estimated $3-6 toll is dominating politics on social media, talk radio and the local broadcast news.
On Monday, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), a candidate for the GOP nod in that U.S. Senate race, hosted a town hall in Magnolia Springs and the toll bridge was a significant concern for attendees.
Byrne has been outspoken against a toll, arguing there were alternative ways for bridge financing. However, he told Mobile television FOX 10 WALA’s Hal Scheurich there was little he could do at this point.
“I can advocate against a toll,” Byrne said. “I can advocate for buying down the tolls for the people of the state of Alabama which I’ve done. But at the end of the day state officials don’t have any obligation to listen to me and quite frankly, they haven’t been very receptive to what I’ve been trying to tell them so it’s up to the state officials to what they’re going to do. I’ve pretty much done as much as I can do.”