Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne held a closed door meeting Monday of local elected officials as well as federal and state highway officials to discuss construction of a new bridge connecting the Bayway to I-10 in downtown Mobile.
The first step in the long process involves the completion of an environmental impact statement, addressing the concerns of property owners citing the “visual pollution” that a new bridge would create.
Following the meeting, Byrne said, “I asked the gentleman here from the Federal Highway Adminstration when we could get that environmental impact statement completed, and that led to a little discussion back and forth, and I asked to have it done by July the first. And he’s either going to do it by then, or let me know the good reason he couldn’t have it done by then.”
Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson who also attended the meeting said, “We need to move forward, we need the Federal Highway Administration helping ALDOT helping the Governor’s office and I think all of that came to light in this meeting today that getting the draft statement and getting the funding, those are the 2 major issues”.
Citing the rapid bridge construction following Hurricane Ivan in Escambia County, Florida and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Baldwin County Commissioner Skip Gruber wanted to know, “Why couldn’t this be considered an emergency when it’s such a bottleneck on a major, major highway. It’s a federal highway”.