Building the bridge: What’s next?

New details are coming out about construction of the I-10 bridge over the Mobile River, and where pylons for the new span may go.

WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?

There’s no design yet approved for the new bridge, but, if you want to get an idea of what it may resemble, look at the Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mike Lee, co-chairman of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Build the I-10 Bridge Coalition said, “It would be a suspension style bridge, and thus, have the advantage of being able to span good distances.”

The Facebook page for Build the I-10 Bridge has artist renderings of what the new bridge could look like in Mobile.

One reason a suspension bridge would be good: no bridge pylons in the river to interfere with maritime traffic.

Lee said, “We can get by with pylons on both sides of the river. Exactly how many and how close to the river is still part of the design phase.”

THE INCLINE

Lee also said the incline for the new bridge would start around Virginia Street, with pylons just south of the cruise terminal, and the bridge would climb to the full 215 foot height at the edge of the river.

Lee said, “It would angle across the river: a little bit of an angle across the river, and pylons will start to hit on the other side, around Austal, probably Austal parking area and over toward AIDT.”

The bridge would slope down to the level of the Bayway, but the Bayway would be doubled to 8 lanes, so there wouln’t be a new bottleneck.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Mobile Baykeeper Executive Director Casi Callaway is anxious to look at the Draft Environmental Impact Statement to get some questions answered, among them: “What all do they have to do to get the approach right? Will there be impacts on the shorelines? Will there be increased impact on water quality? Are they going to build a bridge that captures the rain water from the road and have that collected somewhere?”

And, with a document that’s about 2000 pages, there’ll be plenty of reading.

ALDOT plans to provide copies of the study at various locations around the area, but those aren’t expected to be out until next week.

blog comments powered by Disqus