Traveling through Baldwin County just got a little easier. After two years of construction, the seven mile section of the Baldwin Beach Express between Highway 90 and County Road 32 opened Thursday morning, ,June 19, 2014.
It was a moment that’s been a long time coming. At 10:05 Thursday morning, the lights were activated and the barricades removed at the intersection of Highway 90 and the Baldwin Beach Express in Robertsdale. Road crews worked their way north from County Road 32 double checking all four lanes and then opened the expressway.
The only section left to finish is the new I-10 interchange between Loxley and Wilcox Road.
When that interchange opens sometime in August, it will certainly help with tourist traffic, but for now, locals are taking full advantage of the expressway. Cindy Brasfield was one of the first motorists to pass and was thrilled to find the road open.
“Just access to Highway 90 and then all the way up to the interstate. It’s going to be great. It’s a straight shot from my house now,” Brasfield said.
“It was quick. I don’t know much about it, but it was no traffic and pretty quick,” said another motorist, Daniel Smith.
The Baldwin Beach Express will serve multiple purposes. First, it will alleviate heavy traffic on Highway 59 especially during the busy tourist season. It will also serve as an extra evacuation route in the event of a hurricane. Those who live along the expressway are just as excited to use it in their every-day travels.
“Makes it nice for me. I live right nearby and I can take it now and go to Foley or other places…go to Foley or Gulf Shores and I won’t have to go through towns to get there,” said Robertsdale resident, Glenn Morgan.
With only one stoplight between I-10 and Foley, it’s a route many are sure to start taking and one that some tourists have already found.
“This place is awesome! It makes a quick route. It’s nice. It’s a real pretty road,” said a tourist from Texas traveling south on the expressway to the beach.
It’s pretty and new, but be aware. There are still areas where the speed limit is less than 55 miles per hour and will be untill all striping is finished and construction materials removed.
The entire project cost $85 million to complete. The last phase at the Interstate
10 interchange is scheduled to be completed sometime in August of 2014.