The saga of the I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge is part of a seemingly never-ending dilemma southwestern Alabama residents have been dealing with for a long time.
For over 100 years, locals and travelers passing through the area have struggled to cross the Mobile Bay from Mobile County to Baldwin County in an expeditious manner.
The existing infrastructure, including Interstate 10, known as the Bayway, and U.S. Highways 90 and 98, known as the Causeway, has been deemed insufficient and prone to frequent traffic tie-ups.
However, U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) encourages those concerned not to give up on the elected leadership in place in Southwest Alabama.
During an appearance on FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Carl said the federal government could have a role in financing the bridge and touted the elected leadership’s role in finding a solution to the problem.
“The road systems in Alabama — I mean, I-10 in Alabama is actually owned by the state,” he said. “The federal government gives them money to maintain it and keep it up, but the ownership of that gets turned over to the state. I’m not trying to dodge any bullets and blame it all on the state, surely not. I mean, everybody in the country uses the roads. Let’s figure out a way everybody can pay for it, and federal funding makes the most sense to me. But I’m one voice. I can’t understand why we can’t get more help. We keep talking, but every elected official has a bridge or a road in their district or something they need help with. And most of them ain’t $2 billion.”
“Again, we’ve got some strong leadership on both sides of the bay,” Carl continued. “We’ve got some strong leadership in Montgomery. I think we’re very close to having something put together that we’ll start seeing some movement on that bridge pretty soon. I feel that way … We’ve got some good leadership in all the seats together. Let’s put our heads together and come up with something.”
Carl added that he was seeking to extend the expiration date on a $125 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to apply to the project’s overall cost.
@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.