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ALDOT officials consider installing a toll at the Wallace Tunnel

WPMI

After years of planning, drafting, and studying traffic in our area, ALDOT officials are now considering putting a toll at the Wallace Tunnel. If installed, the toll money would be used to pay for the proposed I-10 bridge.

Alabama Department of Transportation engineers are still exploring all options of funding for the project, including tolls at the Wallace Tunnel and at the bridge. In a statement to Local 15 News, Cheyenne West, community relations officer with ALDOT, said in part:

“We are still in the NEPA process, all studies are preliminary at this point. Regarding tolling, ALDOT is currently exploring all options to fund the I-10 Mobile River Bridge.”

Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne said there is federal grant money available to help pay for the bridge. But, the state would have to pay its fair share and the price tag for the project continues to increase.

“We’ve always been saying $800 million, but we are looking at north of a billion dollars, it’s a huge project,” Byrne said.

Byrne said they are “rapidly” coming to a point when the federal government will be ready to move forward. They just need funding from the state. He said he’s aware of the tolling proposals.

“I know they’re strongly considering that,” he said, “that’s never been something that I’ve been fond of…but, it’s their decision”.

ALDOT officials said they are still studying all options and will hold a public meeting this fall to discuss tolling.

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