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Purchase of Foley Beach Express Bridge finalized

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(The Center Square) – Ownership of the Foley Beach Express Bridge has been transferred to the state of Alabama.

Gov. Kay Ivey signed the paperwork in Foley on Wednesday.

The state purchased the privately-owned toll bridge which connects Interstate 10 with Orange Beach for $57 million in April, with the state also appropriating $3 million for road improvements in Orange Beach. With the finalization of the deal, tolls on the bridge will cease at noon on Thursday in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

The Alabama Department of Transportation will temporarily direct two-way traffic through the now-defunct toll plaza before it is taken down later in June.

“Our coast continues to experience record growth and success, and I am proud we are making needed infrastructure improvements in the area that will help alleviate traffic congestion for Alabamians and those visiting our beaches,” Ivey said in a release. “I am proud of the significant progress we are making on infrastructure projects. In fact, we are making so much headway down here that I think folks in other parts of the state are taking notice.”

The bridge purchase ends a long battle between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach over the bridge. Gulf Shores officials sought to build another bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, something opposed by neighboring Orange Beach officials. In addition to the toll bridge, the State Route 59 bridge is the only other crossing of the canal, leading to traffic congestion.

The Baldwin County Bridge Company filed a lawsuit in 2022 against the state Transportation Department to stop the building of an alternate crossing that the company said would jeopardize their business. Part of the purchase agreement entailed the company dropping its lawsuit.

Under a transportation plan, the 23-year-old bridge will become a one-way route carrying northbound traffic, while the new bridge scheduled for completion in spring or summer 2026 will exclusively carry southbound traffic.

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