House Speaker McCutcheon remains neutral on Mobile toll — ‘My duty’ to enter toll authority meeting ‘with an open mind’
Earlier this week, Alabama Toll Road, Bridge, and Tunnel Authority member Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth announced his opposition to the current proposal offered by the Alabama Department of Transportation regarding the new Interstate 10 Mobile Bay Bridge. That proposal would charge $6 each way for travelers but offer other less costly options for frequent user of the thoroughfare that would connect Mobile and Baldwin Counties.
Following Ainsworth’s lead was Alabama Senate President Pro-Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston), who is not a member of the toll authority board but joined Ainsworth in his opposition.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) issued a statement on the project that did not offer his support or opposition but instead a pledge to keep an open mind until the scheduled October 7 meeting of the toll authority.
“Gov. Ivey has called an October meeting of the Alabama Toll Road, Bridge, and Tunnel Authority in order to have a full, frank, and open discussion about the proposed I-10 Mobile River toll bridge and to hear any alternative funding strategies that might be offered,” he said. “It is my duty to enter this meeting with an open mind and to fairly consider each proposal based solely upon its merits and its ability to produce the desired outcome.”
“Everyone agrees that traffic congestion on Alabama’s Gulf Coast is already a serious problem that will only worsen in time,” he added. “The devil lies in the details of determining how we can most effectively address the issue.”