With a $125 million in U.S. Department of Transportation funding set to lapse, the clock is ticking for local and state officials to reach a consensus on a proposal for a new I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway.
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson has assumed a leadership role as the Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) chairman, along with his Eastern Shore MPO counterpart Fairhope City Council president Jack Burrell, on a new proposal unveiled earlier this month.
The latest edition of the bridge proposal is similar to a 2019 proposal but with tolls capped at $2.50, no public-private partnership and no tolling on existing infrastructure.
During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Stimpson warned time was of the essence.
“[I]t is the time to act for some of the reasons that you said,” he said. “People have been listening to this conversation about the bridge, really in earnest for the last five years. I mean, it has been talked about and planned for a much, much longer period than that. But people have paid closer attention over the past five years. And so, they know that we’re running out of time, and also, there are not alternatives that can be considered because they fall outside what is considered to be the approved environmental impact footprint.”
“I think that is where we are,” Stimpson continued. “I’m kind of reminded, and often I am when you’re in a situation like this — it’s kind of like the teacher has given you a deadline to turn your term paper in, you know? And you’re going to get it turned in, or you’re going to get a zero. It’s time to move on. It’s time to make this happen.”
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.