Public Hearing Meetings
ALDOT will host two public hearings for the Mobile River Bridge project. Officials will be on site to answer questions about the proposed bridge and Bayway widening and solicit comments and concerns from the public. It is very important for as many proponents of a bicycle path to go to these meetings and make their voices heard.
You must sign in to speak (2 min) and all comments must be on ALDOT’s comment form. There will be a court reporter as well.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 – 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Alabama Cruise Terminal
201 S. Water Street Mobile, AL 36602
Monday, September 29, 2014 – 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Five Rivers Delta Resource Center
30945 Five Rivers Blvd,
Spanish Fort, AL 36527
For your opinion to count, it must be made in person or via an official comment form (These will be available on http://www.mobileriverbridge.com after the first meeting)
PDF I-10 Bridge Handout
Please use the following PDF as a resource as you sign up to speak.
bridge handout (PDF)
EIS Full Text
You can review the full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on ALDOT’s project website: http://www.mobileriverbridge.com/documents.html
Common Questions about the Bicycle/Pedestrian path being requested
What are we requesting?: The BPAC petition simply expresses a desire and need for area residents to have a means to cross the Mobile River and requests that ALDOT & the Federal Highway Administration CONSIDER / STUDY including those facilities. The feasibility of such a project in terms of COST or SAFETY would have to be studied by those entities and if deemed infeasible then hopefully alternatives or mitigation would be considered. Dozens of bicycle and pedestrian paths exist on federal highway & interstate bridges (see list below) – safety standards are already developed and this is not a novel concept.
Why should we request it?: The federal government is building the bridge in Mobile to make it easier for people to get through Mobile quickly. The bridge will have some negative effects in Mobile. The bike/ped path is an amenity that they are required by federal law to provide us. If the federal government is going to build this massive structure in Mobile that will last for hundreds of years and be used by our descendants then we need to make sure it is done right and not miss this opportunity.
What benefits will it have?: The path has the potential to provide us the health and economic benefits outlined in the petition, as have happened with the similar Cooper River Bridge in Charleston where 66% of residents say they got more exercise because of the path. Additionally – biking infrastructure has been named the most sought after amenity for educated young people – which our economy needs – when deciding where to move.
What will it be like?: Engineering has yet to be done but it will likely be a concrete barrier SEPARATED bike-pedestrian path. Again – these exist on numerous interstate bridges and have been proven to be safe. ALDOT has said that it will have a 4% grade – equal or less that the Charleston or Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridges. The assertion that only “world class” bikers will be able to use it is easily refuted by talking to an average area biker – not to mention the fact that most people could easily walk it.
Will it delay the bridge? ALDOT has stated in MPO meeting that including the path at this point will not delay the bridge. In fact, NOT including the path will lead to a potential delay – as bridges built with federal funds are required to include consideration of bike-pedestrian facilities (see statute below). Not including them will likely lead to a lawsuit which will only mean more delays. Plus, its inclusion may help to mitigate some of the other potential concerns that would otherwise delay it.
How will it be funded? Funding for the bridge as a whole is yet to be determined, but the bridge is a federal project and will be funded primarily with federal dollars, with a smaller match by ALDOT. There is dedicated federal bike/ped funding for projects like these that can be utilized. If this path is not built then those dollars will simply go to another city. We will NOT get a tax rebate check, unfortunately. Since we are ranked #49 in the nation in bike infrastructure it will likely go to a city that already has better facilities than we do. Mobile has received relatively very little bicycle-pedestrian infrastructure dollars in the past and is already significantly behind most cities.