Traffic crossing Mobile River and Bay on Interstate 10 has more than doubled since the current facilities were built in 1970, far exceeding the planned capacity. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is working to increase capacity on I-10 by building a new six-lane bridge over the Mobile River
On Wednesday, Republican and candidate for State House District 97 Stephen McNair called on lawmakers in Montgomery to pay their “fair share” for the bridge. In June, state officials found out the bridge project did not receive a federal grant that was hoped to provide as much $250 million dollars for the $2 billion project.
On his campaign Facebook page and through a billboard posted on the East side of the tunnel, McNair has called for Montgomery to foot the bill for construction of the I-10 Mobile River Bridge as restitution for stealing the Gulf Coast’s BP settlement funding.
“It is a travesty that the Alabama Legislature directed Mobile’s BP settlement allocation to be used as a one-time fix to balance the state budget instead of investing in our coastal communities,” said McNair. “Mobile and Baldwin County are consistently ignored and misunderstand by those in Montgomery.”
Speaking to a sentiment shared by many citizens in District 97, McNair continued, “We endure hurricanes and oil spills, meanwhile Montgomery steals our BP money and ignores our aging infrastructure and coastal needs.” McNair continued “even Mississippi allocated 70 percent of their BP settlement funds to coastal counties, and yet in Alabama, 70 percent of our funds went to Montgomery.”
Construction on the project is scheduled to start by early 2020.
Alabama Today has reached out to McNair’s opponent, incumbent State Rep. Adline Clarke for comment. We will update this piece if/when she responds.
Check-out the conceptual rendering of the bridge:
In a statement posted to his Facebook page during Hurricane Michael evacuations, McNair wrote about heavy traffic on the Bayway saying, “Mobile is a city with unique challenges and recourses. We generate revenue and jobs for our entire state through the port, tourism and aerospace.”
McNair will appear on the November 6th ballot against incumbent, Adline Clarke.