Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley voice his desire this week to see the new Foley Beach Express extended all the way north to I-65, which he said would aid both the beach areas and northern Baldwin County. The governor’s proposal would make use of federal funding to complete the extension.
Officials in Baldwin County have been lobbying for the Express to pass through their jurisdiction to help ease congestion on Alabama 59, a major north-south route in the region. Under Gov. Bentley’s proposal, a new bridge would also be built over Wolf Bay, creating an additional north-south route into Orange Beach.
Funding for the extension, according to Bentley, would largely come from federal funds distributed under the Restore Act as well as fines paid by BP in the wake of the 2010 Gulf oil spill. The governor, who is also chairman of the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, said he would push the committee to support the extension.
Construction has already begun on the first portion of the Express, which entails an interchange at I-10 to connect the two roadways. As it stands, the full Foley Beach Express is scheduled for completion sometime in late 2014.