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Eastern Shore MPO open to talks with Governor Ivey over I-10 Bridge project

(WPMI) Eastern Shore MPO open to talks with Governor Ivey over I-10 Bridge project - This is a FILE photo from the Eastern Shore MPO meeting on August 28, 2019
(WPMI) Eastern Shore MPO open to talks with Governor Ivey over I-10 Bridge project - This is a FILE photo from the Eastern Shore MPO meeting on August 28, 2019

Eastern Shore leaders responsible for voting down the toll for the Mobile River Bridge Project are hoping to breathe new life into the project, if Montgomery is willing to listen.

"The only term that’s been used is dead and I don’t necessarily know what that means," said Daphne Mayor and MPO Chair Dane Haygood.

ALDOT engineers at the meeting spelled it out with a glimmer of hope.

"We stopped work as per the directive. We have an internal staff and we are having discussions with federal highway - some steps forward," said ALDOT Engineer Matt Erickson.

Erickson did not talk to reporters on camera after the meeting.

MPO members all expressed a desire to come to the table with Governor Kay Ivey and ALDOT to seek common sense solutions. One solution could include a toll for a shorter period, but not for Baldwin or Mobile County residents or businesses.

"I think there's some cost saving measures we can introduce. I don’t want to get the cart too far ahead of the horse, but I believe there are some other ways that we can fund the bridge," said MPO member and Fairhope City Councilman Jack Burrell.

Other solutions would be to build and pay for the new bridge in phases.

"Can we get cost down? Can we phase it in a way and we come up with an approach of funding sources at the state level that would provide this project like every other road we've got in the state without a toll?" said Haygood.

Members of the MPO say they have made contact with the governor's office through letters and phone calls but have not gotten an official response yet.