Tolls along the entire 10-mile stretch of the proposed Mobile River Bridge could range between $3 and $6, a project spokeswoman has confirmed.
While the public has known about planned tolls on the bridge, bayway and Wallace Tunnel to help fund the expensive project since as early as July, Alabama Department of Transportation spokeswoman Allison Gregg now says the agency has specific prices in mind.
“We’re studying a $3 to $6 tolling range for use of the entire alignment,” she said. “That’s from Virginia Street through to the Eastern Shore on I-10.
“It’s an expensive 10 miles of bridge,” Gregg added. “That includes everything from the start, including the approaches to the bridge all the way through the Bayway.”
Agency officials are working with tolling experts and different people who have worked on similar projects before, Gregg said.
“We’re looking at the cost to design, build, operate and maintain the project,” she said. “Those are the factors that go into to tolling, as well as traffic rates.”
The tolls are meant to help offset the cost of the bridge project with money from drivers who use it, Gregg said.
“The people who use the alignment will pay for it,” she said. “It’s pay-as-you-go.”
ALDOT recently pushed back the project timeline due to a longer-than-expected environmental process. Because of this, the agency has yet to pick a concessionaire for the project, out of three finalists. Once a concessionaire is picked, ALDOT will enter into a 55-year concession agreement with that group of developers, engineers and financial backers. Tolls are part of that 55-year plan, Gregg said, but won’t go into effect until the entire project is completed.
ALDOT is still anticipating a five-year construction window, meaning tolls for the project would be in place for 50 years, she said.
As previously reported, the project includes not only a new suspension bridge on I-10 over the Mobile River, but also includes a new, higher bayway.
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