Port Authority’s Lyons: ‘If all goes well’ with federal funding — Port of Mobile expansion to start October 2020, be done in three years
MOBILE – Earlier this year, the Alabama legislature passed the Rebuild Alabama Act during a special session, which was almost immediately signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey upon its passage.
With it came one of the most debated issues of the year, an increase in the state’s fuel tax. However, it also included a line item that allowed for some of the gas tax proceeds to finance the expansion of the Port of Mobile.
During an interview that aired on Huntsville radio’s WVNN that took place in Mobile, Alabama, Port Authority director Jimmy Lyons laid out a timetable for completion. He explained part was contingent on the federal matching for the state component of financing and the completion of a combination of several projects going on at once.
“That’s where Senator Shelby is really going to come in as being chair of the appropriations committee,” Lyons said on “The Jeff Poor Show” regarding the funding. “And this is one of his priority projects.”
“It’ll have to be in federal appropriations,” he added. “And the first key will be in appropriations for this year because our plan is to, if all goes well, to get it started by October of next year. So that means it has got to be in this next budget that Congress is working on right now. And like I said, Senator Shelby is – he and I have talked about for this for quite a long time. It’s one of his very high priorities.”
Factors including the availability of equipment and the completion of multiple contracts would be key components in meeting a possible three-year deadline.
“If all goes well, the project can be done in three years,” Lyons said. “There will be multiple dredge contracts, multiple pieces of equipment working. It depends on what equipment is available, what times, different parts – different segments will require different types of equipment. It won’t all be let in one big contract. It will be let in multiple contracts.”