The Alabama Department of Transportation has released a new conceptual video of what the future $2 billion Mobile River Bridge and Bayway could look like.
To accommodate shipping traffic, the 1,500-foot main span would stand 215 feet high above the Mobile River, just 5 feet shy of the height of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge’s total length, including approach spans, would be about 2 miles.
The project involves building a six-lane bridge across the river to increase the capacity on Interstate 10. It would also replace the four-lane Bayway with an eight-lane highway that would be elevated above the 100-year storm surge.
The entire project involves improvements over 10 miles. It will be one of the largest road projects in the country, according to ALDOT.
Currently, traffic between Mobile and the cities of Daphne and Spanish Fort travels the George Wallace Tunnel, which averages 75,000 vehicles per day and up to 100,000 during tourist season, more than twice what it was intended to handle. The ALDOT estimates traffic will eventually double for the crossing.
ALDOT has released a short list of three contractor/design teams to take on the project. Last year, the agency sought private investment for the project, which would also be funded by tolls, grants and a federal infrastructure loan.
Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin at the end of 2019 and take about five years, according to the agency. The private project team would also operate and maintain the bridge under a 55-year contract.
The teams’ proposals are due this fall, with a winner chosen by the end of this year, according to ALDOT.