In a letter to the chairman of local transportation planning organizations, Gov. Kay Ivey urged the boards to vote in favor of making the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project available for federal funds and promised to work with local leaders to possibly reduce or eliminate the need for tolls.
In the letter addressed to Eastern Shore Metropolitan Organization (MPO) Chairman Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood and Mobile MPO Chairman Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Ivey wrote that her office wanted “to establish a pathway under which the Alabama Department of Transportation can continue the procurement process … in hopes of finding an agreed upon solution to the decades-old problem.”
“In essence, (ALDOT) Director (John) Cooper has recommended that if both the ESMPO and MMPO will vote to keep the project in your respective 2020-2024 Transportation Improvement Plan, ALDOT will be able to proceed with the procurement process with the three concessionaires, affording us all the best alternatives available,” Ivey wrote. “We all know that the only way to see if this bridge is possible is to keep this process going.”
In return for the affirmative votes, Ivey pledges to disclose the “final and best plan” to the local MPO boards, allowing each to remove the project from their respective TIP documents.
In addition, Ivey wrote, ALDOT will attempt to “streamline” the process in order to reduce the price tag and will continue to search for additional funding to either eliminate or reduce the proposed tolls.
“Mayors, as you both know, there is a long history of cooperation between ALDOT and your respective cities and counties,” Ivey wrote. “To this point, you should know Director Cooper has recommended we include your projects in the State Transportation Improvement Plan just as you have included our projects in your TIPs. Importantly, we plan to leave this project in the STIP and we sincerely hope you will choose to leave this project in your TIPs, as well, so that the process can proceed in anticipation of developing the very best alternatives available.”
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