After several months of review and evaluation, Thompson Engineering has been selected as the design team to develop plans for the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project.

Several design teams from around the country submitted letters of interest for this project, and Thompson Engineering was one of three teams that made the first two rounds of evaluation. The final selection was made today by a panel of Mobile area elected officials and community leaders, who viewed presentations from the three final teams.

“We saw three great presentations today from three very capable design teams,” Transportation Director John Cooper said. “We asked the leadership here in the Mobile Bay area to make the final selection, because they have the best feel for the unique needs of this area with respect to the bridge.”

The presentations included conceptual ideas for the project, but there will be many different variables that factor into the final design.

“The panel selected a design team, not a design, for this project,” Mobile Region Engineer Vince Calametti said. “We need the team to get the preliminary design underway so we can finish the Environmental Impact Statement. Thompson Engineering was chosen today because the selection panel liked their ideas and felt they were the best fit to design this project.”

To keep the project moving as quickly as possible, ALDOT has decided to fast-track the contract with Thompson Engineering. A fast-track contract will allow Thompson Engineering to start some of the work almost immediately while the full contract is being finalized.

The I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Widening project includes the construction of a new I-10 bridge over Mobile River to alleviate congestion in the Wallace Tunnel, the current I-10 Mobile River crossing. Hazardous cargo trucks, which currently have to detour through Water Street in downtown Mobile to take the Cochrane-Africatown Bridge, would also be able to use the bridge. The Bayway would also be widened two lanes in each direction.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which named the B-prime route as the preferred route, was approved by the Federal Highway Administration on July 22, 2014. Traveling on Interstate 10 from the west, the B-Prime route starts at Virginia Street, crosses the Mobile River just south of the Mobile Cruise Terminal, continues across Pinto Island and rejoins the center of the Bayway to continue east.