On Monday, September 15, 2014, sixteen elected officials from Mobile and Baldwin Counties will travel to Washington, D.C. to rally support behind efforts to build the I-10 bridge over the Mobile River. The trip, the first time such a group has traveled together in support of the bridge project, includes mayors from Mobile, Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, Prichard, Satsuma, Saraland, Bay Minette, Spanish Fort, Daphne, Foley, Fairhope and Gulf Shores, as well as, county commissioners from Mobile and Baldwin counties.
According to Wiley Blankenship, President and CEO of Coastal Alabama Partnership, “Our goal in making this trip to D.C. is three-fold. We want to educate our federal and neighboring state’s elected officials on the need for the bridge, begin to explore modes of funding the bridge and to build a regional coalition of support.”
Members of the delegation will meet with the Federal Highway Transportation Administration, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions and Senator Richard Shelby’s Chief of Staff, Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne, Florida Congressmen Ted Yoho, Steve Southerland and Jeff Miller, Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise and Mississippi Congressmen Steven Palazzo. Additionally, the delegation will meet with members of the White House staff.
While the proposed I-10 Bridge over the Mobile River will alleviate congestion, improve safety and quality of life, it will also provide a greater flow of commerce. Recently released economic data shows that the bridge construction itself will generate over $35 million in new tax revenue, nearly 12,000 new jobs and generate an overall economic output of $1.56 billion within the eight county region of South Alabama.
“Contrary to popular belief, traffic congestion in the Wallace Tunnels does not occur only on major holidays, but over 150 days per year. This ongoing congestion causing major delays is a hazard to our local communities, is becoming cost prohibitive to commerce and causes tourists to divert travel plans to other areas. On many fronts, it is crucial for our area’s future development that the I-10 bridge is built,” says Mike Lee, Co-Chair of the Build the Bridge Coalition.
The Coalition has launched an informational website (www.buildthei10bridge.com) to promote the benefits of the bridge, to encourage citizens to support the new bridge and to provide a centralized website for the latest information related to the I-10 bridge project.
The Build the I-10 Bridge Coalition is a non-partisan coalition of private industry and government working together to alleviate congestion impacting travel along Interstate 10 in Alabama and is a partnership of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce (www.mobilechamber.com) and Coastal Alabama Partnership (www.coastalalabama.org).