MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – While many people are excited about the possibility of a new bridge, one local lawyer, is already gearing up for a fight.
A day after the federal study was released on the I-10 bridge project, attorney Herndon Inge is talking about a possible lawsuit.
The long awaited I-10 bridge project is just starting to take off, but Inge says it’s headed in the wrong direction.
“Lets look at Mobile 30 years from now. We don’t want that bridge over the central business district 30 years from now,” Herndon said.
Inge said the bridge which is intended to alleviate congestion in Mobile’s outdated tunnels threatens the view of the river for Mobile’s central business district.
“You walk out Government Presbyterian Church and you’re going to see, I don’t know if it’s 3 feet higher than the Golden Gate bridge, or 23 feet higher than the Golden Gate Bridge, but that’s what you’re going to see when you walk out. And the Admiral Semmes Hotel. It’s on the National Trust, and on two sides that’s all you’re going to see.”
Inge says there’s also concern many historic structures downtown could been affected by the construction project itself.
Inge says even the Alabama Highway Department director has talked about the challenge of coming up with the money for the project, but Inge says if it goes that far, the state can expect a lawsuit.
‘Well, if they drive the first piling in the ground, Betsy Merritt is locked and loaded and we’re ready to file a lawsuit and say Highway Department, follow your own guidelines, follow your own studies,” he said.
Betsy Merritt is an attorney for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a group that fights to save America’s Historic places.
Inge said he won a lawsuit 30 years ago that forced the change in the I-165 connector which originally was intended to extend all the way to I-10. Instead it was brought to street level at Water Street.
Inge insists he’s not against a bridge, but he said it should not be built on the route currently under consideration. He hopes there will some dialogue and negotiation to come up with a solution he says “everyone can buy into”.