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In mid-February, Gov. Robert Bentley announced the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) will move forward with the preliminary design process for the “B Prime” route of the proposed I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway widening project.
Advertisement for design consultants followed, and ALDOT anticipates selecting the consultant this summer. “It’s a significant step in speeding up the construction process,” and could reduce the project time by a year or more, says Mike Lee with Page and Jones, who serves as the co-chair and spokesman for the Mobile Area Chamber’s Build the Bridge Coalition.
“Normally, that step is delayed until the final draft environmental impact study (EIS) and the record of decision come out,” said Lee. “That was estimated to take a year or more, and only then would the design and engineering work begin. This allows those things to run concurrently.”
“By starting the design process, ALDOT will be able to fully analyze issues like the construction vibration concerns, bicycle and pedestrian issues, effects of storm surge on the ‘Bayway’ bridge, and other items that we need to resolve for the final EIS and a record of decision,” says Southwest Region Engineer Vince Calametti.
The “B Prime” route was the preferred alternative corridor in the draft EIS and approved by the Federal Highway Administration in July 2014. The bridge route starts at Virginia Street, crosses the Mobile River just south of the Mobile Cruise Terminal, continues across Pinto Island and joins the center of the Bayway, where it will continue through the U.S. Hwy. 90/98 interchange in Baldwin County.
Stay up to date on this project at www.MobileRiverBridge.com.
Click here to read The Business View – May 2015