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Alabama plans to eliminate tolls to Gulf coast beaches

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Alabama plans to buy the Foley Beach Express Bridge and eliminate tolls to drive across it. Governor Kay Ivey and the mayors of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach announced an agreement for the Alabama Department of Transportation to purchase the bridge from the Baldwin County Bridge Company for $57 million. The thoroughfare is a private toll bridge that provides an alternate route to state beaches.

Ivey's office said in a press release that the bridge will become toll free as soon as the deal closes.

"Alabama's Gulf Coast continues to experience record growth and success, and I am proud we are making needed infrastructure improvements in the area that will help alleviate traffic congestion for Alabamians and those visiting our beaches," Ivey said.

The sale is expected to close in May and toll collection will end at noon on the closing date. The exact day has not yet been scheduled.

Alabama is also building another bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway to help ease congestion. When that span is completed in 2026, each bridge will be converted to one-way crossing. The Beach Express Bridge will carry traffic north away from the beach and the new Intracoastal Waterway bridge will carry vehicles south.

The Baldwin County Bridge Company has sued the state over constructing the new bridge, accusing the state transportation director of acting in bad faith during toll negotiations and then pursuing the new bridge project to financially damage the company.

A judge last year blocked construction of the new bridge, but the Alabama Supreme Court reversed that decision.

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