City Council backs bike path on new bridge

Should bike and pedestrian paths be included on the new I-10 bridge over the Mobile River?

The Mobile City Council took a stand on that issue Tuesday morning after both sides presented their positions.

COMPARISON TO BILOXI

The resolution sponsored by Council Members Bess Rich and Levon Manzie called on the council to support bicycle and pedestrian facilities for the I-10 Mobile River Bridge.

One person spoke on the issue.

Elliott Lauderdale said, “I’d like to point out that the Biloxi bridge, that was recently constructed to include a bicycle-pedestrian path, has become a tourist attraction. Groups of bicyclists from Mobile are going to Biloxi just to ride on that and to enjoy the waterway.”

HIGHER COST?

Council Member John Williams said he supports bicycle paths, but is concerned about delaying the bridge from being built, and he’s concerned about another issue.

Williams said, “The cost is significantly more. I don’t see how this can possibly be done if we increase the size of the bridge.”

CALLING FOR A STUDY

Council Member Joel Daves said he thinks the state should look into the idea of having bike paths or walkways on the bridge.

Daves said, “I support this resolution, but I hope that it’s clear that, by supporting this resolution, certainly I don’t want to see that bridge delayed by five minutes.”

Finally, sponsors Bess Rich and Levon Manzie spoke.

Rich said, “It will be my understanding that it will be larger than the Golden Gate Bridge, and just the status of that in our community will make it a tourist phenomenon.”

Manzie said, “What we’re asking you is for it to be studied. The numbers come back and they’re unrealistic, then other decisions can be made. But, there’s no harm in us asking the proper individuals to study it to see exactly what will it cost.”

COUNCIL APPROVES RESOLUTION

The vote was five to one, with Council Member Williams voting no.

Council President Gina Gregory is away at a conference.

The Alabama Department of Transportation plans to hold two public hearings in late September for you to say what you think about the project.

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