According to a press release, The Federal Highway Administration approved the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed I-10 bridge over Mobile River and widening of the existing I-10 Bayway on July 22.
The DEIS addresses impacts associated with the bridge alignments under consideration for the project and provides a preferred corridor based on studies conducted and the associated impacts.
The preferred corridor begins at Virginia Street, crosses the Mobile River just south of the Mobile Cruise Terminal, continues across Pinto Island and joins the center of the Bayway, which will be widened two-lanes in each direction from the bridge meeting point to Daphne.
The DEIS will be available at several locations in the area (listed below) and online for public review. A hearing will be scheduled in the near future to obtain additional public reaction and input for this very important project.
“Approval of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is a significant step in what tends to be a long process,” said Governor Robert Bentley. “Bringing this project to the point that we have a specific corridor defined and know we can build a bridge there remains one of my key goals. We appreciate Congressman Bradley Byrne and the Mobile Chamber of Commerce for their efforts to relay the importance of this project to federal representatives and help it move through the process.”
Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) today applauded the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the I-10 Mobile River bridge project.
“I am thrilled to report that the long awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed I-10 Mobile River Bridge has been signed by the Federal Highway Administration.
“This step has been almost ten years in the making, and it represents a significant breakthrough in the process of getting a bridge built. I appreciate the efforts of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Mike Lee, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Governor Bentley, the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and all of those involved in helping us move this process forward.
“As both sides of Mobile Bay continue to grow and new businesses relocate to our community, it is critical that the I-10 system is capable of handling the increased amount of traffic back and forth across the bay. This stretch of the I-10 highway is the number one chokepoint from coast to coast.
“With the draft environmental impact statement complete, I know other challenges await, but I am hopeful that the process will continue to move forward in an expeditious manner. I’ll continue to be a positive, proactive voice bringing our community together in pursuit of this common goal that we share.”
The next step in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process is completing a final Environmental Impact Statement that will incorporate any new information obtained from the circulation of the DEIS, coordination and comments received from the public hearing and comment period, along with mitigation efforts made by ALDOT in relation to construction of the project.
During the public hearing ALDOT officials will answer questions about the proposed bridge and Bayway widening and solicit comments and concerns from the public. The official comment period will last 45 days to allow citizens to submit comments for review in the final EIS if they are unable to attend the hearing.
The Alabama Department of Transportation will announce the date of the public hearing once it is confirmed.