The first steps to making a new six-lane bridge across the Mobile River start next week.
During this first stage of construction, your commute won't be affected, but you will need to be aware of crews in the area.
Allison Gregg with the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project said, "This is really exciting. People, you know when we talk about the project, they're like it's it really going to be built? When is something really going to happen?' We've been working behind the scenes on design for a long time and this is an opportunity for people to see that we're starting to turn ground. We're starting to do some test work and you're going to see it come to life over the next few years and these are really the first few moments of that."
As early as Monday, ALDOT crews will start putting out equipment. Once Mardi Gras wraps up, pile driving at Texas Street, on the west side of the Mobile River and then along the Bayway could start as early as February 14.
Those test pilings will provide data to teams submitting proposals to design and build the $2 billion dollar project.
But first, Gregg said those teams must be chosen.
"Next week on Tuesday, the Alabama Tolling Authority will meet in Montgomery and we will work with them to select the shortlist of teams to move forward into the proposing section."
The team or teams selected will then work with ALDOT on submitting the design for the 12-mile long project by this Fall.
"And we will select the best value to you to build the project starting in 2019," Gregg added.
While the bridge is built, businesses like Darley's Law Firm on St. Emmanuel Street will have to relocate. Jason Darley said, he's OK with that.
"Yeah I'm going to move. Don't know. Somewhere downtown. I'll stay down here. I like it down here," Darley said.
Also interesting, it's mandatory for the proposing teams to incorporate bicycle and pedestrian paths in the project.
The project is expected to be complete in 2024.
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