Orange Beach Mayor Kennon challenges Gulf Shores Craft mayor for mayor over new toll bridge dispute – “Don’t call me corrupt” – Yellowhammer News
Orange Beach Mayor Kennon challenges Gulf Shores Craft mayor for mayor over new toll bridge dispute – “Don’t call me corrupt”
Finding a solution to the long-standing traffic problems associated with crossing the Intracoastal Waterway to and from Baldwin County beaches is uncertain as a disagreement between Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon and Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft seems to have become personal.
Since 1972, Alabama Highway 59 via WC Holmes
As the number of bathers continues to increase each year and more people settle in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, a third bridge has been proposed to alleviate the increase in traffic congestion. However, given the limits of the Gulf State Park boundaries, it has been difficult to determine the appropriate location for a new bridge, with some questioning whether a new bridge is the right choice as the solution.
Last week, Kennon released a statement revealing that Governor Kay Ivey and Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Director John Cooper suspended the ongoing process for the construction of a new bridge and entered into a three month negotiation period with owners of the Foley Beach Express Baldwin Bridge. County Bridge Company and ALDOT.
The announcement angered Craft, who said he was “extremely disappointed” with his own statement and questioned the effort after “three years of fruitless negotiations” with the current owners of the bridge.
In an interview with Mobile Radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Kennon explained his position on the years-old problem, noting his skepticism about the new bridge that would connect southbound visitors on the Intracoastal Waterway to the island and on Alabama Highway 180 (Canal Road), just north of the beaches.
âWell that sounds good when you say you’re adding a free bridge and a new hotspot,â he said. âBut when you look at the actual pavement, it’s a nightmare. You have now introduced three new intersections, roundabouts that look like a drunk man making crop circles. And you tell me you’re going to move more traffic through this glove. It just won’t happen. He serves locally. It serves Gulf Shores for local travel. It doesn’t do what it’s intended, and the purpose of this discussion was to increase traffic from Highway 59 to Highway, and it travels smoothly during the summer. That’s all it’s about.
âWe never supported that,â Kennon continued. âWe have always advocated working with the toll bridge company, which is a good company. He’s trying to work with us because we basically have two lanes north, two lanes south, one intersection, flowing freely to County Road 8, as opposed to one lane south, one lane north. , which flows to these additional intersections. It just doesn’t make any sense, and they’re going to spend $ 70 million to $ 80 million on it. And the saddest thing is the governor [Kay Ivey] and director of ALDOT [John] Cooper is put in the middle because they’re just trying to find a solution.
âI appreciate them coming back and saying that we really want to evaluate this and re-evaluate this, and find the best use of the money in the most pragmatic way to move traffic,â he added. “That’s the point.”
Kennon offered to have a public forum discussion with Craft and said he was outraged at suggestions of corruption.
“It’s like I said last night – Mayor Craft, it’s time for me and you to take the stage in a public forum, a town hall – whatever you want to do,” he said. . âWe need to set it so everyone can see the facts, get their minds and stop all this jokes and nonsense on social media, and once again – speak up. Anyone who has a question on anything, let them see the layout and let them decide. “
“It got personal when the mayor basically accused us – for lack of a better word – of being in the pocket of the toll bridge,” Kennon continued. âIt was all about the money, and that’s the furthest thing from the truth. This has been going on for three years, and there is a certain limit that cannot be crossed. You can call me ugly. You can tell me I dress funny. But don’t call me corrupt.
Kennon provided an update on another possible alternative route, which would be a bridge to Wolf Bay further east, but said during the clearance process with the US Army Corps of Engineers the timing was not right. for this particular project.
@Jeff_Poor graduated from Auburn University and the University of Southern Alabama, editor-in-chief of Breitbart TV, columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from Mobile from 9h to 12h on FM Talk 106.5.