What is most frustrating to me regarding the traffic problem on Interstate 10 is the “magic bullet bridge.” After reading your column (Damn the Torpedoes, “Like a bridge to the future,” July 13-19), I decided to look around and see if I could find some statistics that would highlight some alternative ideas.
I found a report titled “Independent Analysis of I-10 Bridge Project and of Alternatives” prepared for Keep Mobile Moving by Street Smarts in 2007. While the costs are out of date, the concept is not.
Nothing has been done on the magic bullet bridge and the alternatives have been ignored, even though they would cost less and are likely to be more successful. Read the study (tinyurl.com/yd2nn8qx) where it talks about bridge grades, mileage and truckers’ time.
This study is well thought out. I am astounded that it received no follow-through. Think about it: If these alternatives had been addressed as feasible in 2008, they would have been implemented by now. Today everyone is waiting for the magic bullet.
The biggest bottleneck today is the curve and the tunnel. Anyone who must drive through the tunnel when it’s crowded knows how quickly speeds increase on the other side when drivers see daylight again.
It’s partly due to trucks slowing down, but also tourists who don’t drive through a tunnel regularly. I would bet a very high bridge would bring out the same reaction in drivers, the main reason why I think a high bridge would not be successful.
Thanks for all the good work you guys do!