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State Sen. Sessions: Majority of new I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway should be paid for with federal dollars

State Sen. David Sessions (R-Grand Bay) insists the financial burden of a new I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway should be on the federal government, not the state of Alabama.

During an appearance on FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Sessions, whose district includes Interstate 10 and borders the Mobile Bay, explained that given Interstate 10 is a federal highway, which stretches from Jacksonville, Fla. to Santa Monica, Calif., a project of the magnitude of the new bridge connecting Mobile and Baldwin Counties is the responsibility of the federal government.

“I think they have to get it on the MPOs where we have an opportunity to fund that bridge,” he said. “Hopefully, we fund this project with some of this new federal infrastructure money because, Jeff, that highway serves from coast to coast, Atlantic to Pacific. You’ve got California to Jacksonville, Florida. What I’ve relayed to ALDOT is I feel that it is a federal issue, that the majority of that should be paid for with federal dollars because it is not fair, not right for Mobile and Baldwin Counties to pay for something that is utilized by the entire coastal corridor, from, like I said, you’ve got California, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida all using that corridor. So, hopefully, the infrastructure package will have funds available for that, and we can get that thing done.”

Sessions spoke approvingly of the current plan and noted how the existing Wallace Tunnel is problematic for truck traffic.

“I feel like it is a good plan,” Sessions added. “You know, Jeff, I’ve been here all of my life — 61 years old now. I’ve been going through that tunnel since I was 19 years old with loads of grain on a bobtail truck, and I’ve tried to explain to people that bobtail truck was going 10 miles per hour when it got to the bottom of that tunnel because of traffic slowing down. I was only going five miles per hour when I got to the top of the tunnel to get off to go to Blakely Island to unload grain. So, the tunnel is one of the biggest issues that backs that traffic up like an accordion. You get most of that truck traffic off of there and keep that truck traffic flowing at a 40-50 mile per hour pace, and I think it doesn’t solve all the problems. You’re still going to have wrecks. You’re still going to have some backups. But it alleviates a lot of the problem.”

@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.