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FROM THE PUBLISHER
Mobile Takes Bridge Message to D.C.
By Bill Sisson, President & CEO, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
Recently, the Coastal Alabama Partnership (CAP) organized a regional coalition of elected officials from the Mobile Bay region to visit Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, Cong. Bradley Byrne, and several congressmen from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi in Washington, D.C. The trip was for a single purpose: to advocate for the I-10 bridge over the Mobile River. Without fail, the senators and congressmen were impressed by the large number of mayors and county commissioners who made the trip – and by the regional coalition rallying around this critical infrastructure need.
There is no question we have made it this far because of the support of our local elected officials and business community, who have led the charge for years – and it’s clear that our federal delegation in Washington, D.C. will do the same.
A tremendous amount of work advocating for the bridge has already been done by groups such as the Chamber’s “Build the I-10 Bridge Coalition,” as well as the work of CAP and many others. But we’re still only at the beginning of the process. Now that the federal agencies have released the draft Environmental Impact Study, public hearings have been held and official comments have been registered, it is possible for the design and engineering to begin. And the hardest part can finally start, which is cobbling together federal, state, and local funding to construct the more than $1 billion project.
Estimates indicate the bridge could realistically take six to eight years to complete, so it will be more important than ever for our community to keep our eyes on the prize. For growth and prosperity to continue, we must continue to support pro-bridge efforts to keep Mobile’s commerce on the move.
Click here to read The Business View – November 2014