Campaign Updates

Congressman Byrne: Transportation bill is good news for I-10 Bridge

Posted on November 5th, 2015

Source- Fox10tv.com 

MOBILE, AL (WALA) – As local drivers know all too well, traffic can get backed up around the Wallace Tunnel on I-10. As part of our commitment to you, we’re digging deeper into how a newly-passed bill could impact efforts to build the proposed I-10 bridge over the Mobile River.

The house passed a six year transportation bill (Surface Transportation Authorization and Reform Act) on Thursday with 363 votes.

Congressman Bradley Byrne said this is huge step towards securing federal funding for the bridge.

As we’ve reported, Thompson Engineering has already been chosen to design the bridge. They started field work last month and expect to have environmental clearance in the next two years.

This proposed bridge is an estimated $850 million dollar project that still needs funding.

The whole point of the highway bill is to “improve the safety, efficiency and reliability” of major highways and reduce congestion.

Byrne said he strongly believes the I-10 Bridge qualifies for this funding.

Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx was in Mobile this August to get an up close and personal look at the I-10 congestion. Byrne said Foxx has a big influence on the bill. He also said Foxx is fully committed to helping this project move forward.

“This new bill has a specific category in it for prioritize programs that the secretary himself gets to prioritize. With his support and with the money that’s in this new bill, we will be able to put a substantial amount of funding into building this bridge,” said Byrne.

Since the House and the Senate passed different versions of the highway bill, members from both chambers will form a conference committee to work out the differences.

The current highway bill is set to expire in two weeks on November 20.

Byrne said if everything goes smoothly with funding and environmental clearance, we could see construction on the bridge as early as 2017.