Mobile Bay

The politics behind possible new life for the proposed I-10 bridge project

Nov 24, 2020
APR's Guy Busby

A new proposed bridge across Mobile Bay may get a second look from local and state planning officials. The plan was declared dead over a year ago due to tolls needed to pay for the project. A proposal to charge up to $6 to cross Mobile Bay on I-10 killed the plan late last year. Now, officials are discussing the proposal again, but some say local residents will have to have an alternative way to cross the bay without a toll.

Jack Burrell is the chairman of the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MPO.

Proposed bridge construction in Mobile back on table

Nov 23, 2020
APR's Guy Busby

The possibility of a toll bridge in Mobile is once again a reality.

A planning group has asked the state transportation agenecy for an update on the plans for an Interstate 10 bridge to span 10 miles over the Mobile River and Mobile Bay. 

The project was stopped last year when local opposition complained about the toll.

APR

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Flounder fishing in state waters will be halted in November to protect migrating fish.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is reminding anglers that commercial and recreational fishing for flounder is prohibited from Nov. 1 through Nov. 30.

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (AP) — South Alabama officials dealt what the governor called a fatal blow to a proposed toll bridge across Mobile Bay.

The Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization voted 8-1 Wednesday to remove the bridge from the area's transportation plan. The project must be in the plan to qualify for federal funding.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey quickly issued a statement saying "There is no pathway forward, and this project is dead."

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says officials will continue to look at ways to eliminate, or at least reduce, tolls of up to $6 on a proposed Mobile bridge.

Ivey told reporters Friday that she wished "we didn't have tolls period." The governor said it "would be wonderful if we could have no tolls." She said they should "at least let's see if we can have less tolls."

The proposed $2.1 billion bridge would cross the Mobile River and Mobile Bay. Opponents say the proposed tolls of up to $6 would hurt working families and small businesses.

WKRG

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A Mobile planning organization delayed a key vote on a controversial toll bridge amid pushback over the cost to commuters and families.

Mobile Area Metropolitan Planning Organization on Wednesday voted to delay a decision on whether to include the project in the region's transportation plan. The bridge must be in the plan to qualify for federal funding. The group will meet again in October after a state toll bridge authority meets.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson suggested the delay. Some toll bridge opponents applauded after the vote.

 Governor Kay Ivey has called a meeting of a state panel over a proposed toll bridge in coastal Alabama. 

Ivey asked the Alabama Toll Road, Bridge and Tunnel Authority to meet Sept. 17 in Montgomery.

They will discuss a planned bridge crossing the Mobile River and Mobile Bay. State officials say tolls from $3 to $6 are needed to help finance construction..

Ivey said she is sensitive to the impact on working families and small businesses. But the governor said she is also concerned about the "cost of doing nothing."

NOAA

Coastal Alabama is drying out and cleaning up after a near miss from what was briefly Hurricane Barry.

The storm system moved farther west than forecasters expected, making landfall on Louisiana's central coast Saturday morning. But the storm still dumped a tremendous amount of rain on Alabama's coast. The towns of Fairhope and Daphne reported as much as 7 inches of rainfall over the weekend.

The Baldwin County Health Department says those heavy rains on the Eastern Short of Mobile Bay caused up to $200,000 of sewage to overflow into local creeks feeding into the bay.

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (AP) — The National Weather Service says hurricane-force winds left a trail of damage on the Alabama coast.

An assessment from forecasters says winds blowing from 70 mph to 80 mph (113 kph to 129 kph) ripped metal roofing off buildings and knocked over pine trees on Dauphin Island on Sunday morning.

Hurricanes have winds of at least 74 mph, so the storm's winds were the rough equivalent of a category 1 storm.

An organization that preserves Civil War battlefields is looking for volunteers to help clean up historical sites across Alabama.

The Civil War Trust says volunteers will be working at more than 160 sites nationwide during its annual cleanup day on April 7.

In Alabama, Fort Morgan is on the list of places slated for work. The red-brick fort located at the tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula played a key role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.

Mobile River Named 4th-Most Endangered River

Apr 19, 2017
Mobile River
Wikimedia

Rough waters may be ahead for the Mobile Bay Basin.

The 2017 Most Endangered Rivers report named the Mobile River and Mobile Bay Basin as the fourth most endangered river in the country. The Mobile River System accounts for fourteen percent of all freshwater flowing in the United States. The Mobile Bay, its delta, and the rivers that sustain them are under threat, largely due to mismanagement of water resources along with waste and overuse of water.

VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor says he will reopen his casino later this year despite losing a three-year legal battle over the legality of electronic bingo machines.

McGregor hopes to have the casino open by early summer.

McGregor criticized last week's Alabama Supreme Court ruling that electronic gambling machines that had been seized are illegal.  The court ruled that the state could keep 1,615 gambling machines seized from VictoryLand in a 2013 raid.

LCS USS Montgomery
Thigpen Photography

The U.S. Navy has awarded Austal USA the contract to build Littoral Combat Ship 26.

The additional warship is part of a contract modification increasing Austal USA’s block-buy contract with the Navy to 11 ships.

When LCS 26 is built, it will be the 13th LCS built by Austal USA at its shipyards in Mobile. The company currently has ten warships in different stages of production: seven Littoral Combat Ships and three Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels. Three LCS vessels have already been delivered to the Navy, and a fourth will be delivered later this year.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics trial has been postponed once again. APR’s student reporter Miranda Fulmore has more.

Hubbard’s trial was originally scheduled to begin next month, but has been postponed by Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker. Walker postponed the trial after the state’s lead prosecutor faced a knee injury and needs time to recover from surgery.

Two dead, five missing after storm hits boat race

Apr 26, 2015

Two bodies have been recovered and five other sailors are missing after a powerful storm capsized several sailboats participating in a regatta near Mobile Bay.

Authorities say most, but not all those missing were participating in the Dauphin Island Regatta, which included over 100 sailboats and nearly 200 participants. Crews are still searching for the five missing sailors.

A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order against a company accused of retaliating against whistleblowing workers in Selma.

Workers in a Selma automotive parts plant have complained about conditions in the plant and were involved in a federal investigation.

An order filed by the U.S. Department of Labor Wednesday in U.S. District Court Wednesday blocks the Lear Corporation and Renosol Seating from terminating, suspending, suing, threatening or retaliating against current or former employees.