The Supreme Court of Alabama is reviewing a brief filed in the case involving Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) director John Cooper in which he claims a lower court's decision issuing an injunction halting the building of a bridge in Baldwin County was not legal.

The filing states that the Baldwin County Bridge Company (BCBC) is barred from claiming bad faith alone because of sovereign immunity and that “bad faith” is not legally recognized in Alabama.

ALDOT requested the injunction be lifted and claims by BCBC dismissed. ALDOT claimed the longer the injunction is in place, the more it will cost taxpayers. However, BCBC supporters say the waste is all Cooper’s fault.

“The preliminary injunction must be reversed because it directly affects the State’s contractual rights for construction of the New Bridge,” the filing states.

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Jimmy Pool previously ordered the injunction to halt the construction of the new bridge across the Intercoastal Waterway. In a bold order, he stated Cooper acted in bad faith when deciding to build the new bridge near the toll bridge owned by BCBC. BCBC claimed the new bridge would put the company into bankruptcy.

In the 79-page order, Pool stated, “[E]vidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that Director Cooper has acted in bad faith towards BCBC in connection with his decision to build a new bridge.”

Cooper’s team said the BCBC claims against Cooper are not legally “wrongful” and do not “allege actual interference with a protected right.

Attorneys for Cooper said in the brief that the purpose of the new bridge was to alleviate traffic, and Cooper was simply doing his job when making the decision.

The filing claimed BCBC would not be impaired of rights if the bridge was built. Those rights include the right to possess, the right to exclude others, the right to allow the public to cross and the right to charge told.

ALDOT claims it is in the public interest to relieve traffic in south Baldwin County by building the new bridge. Cooper said after failed attempts at negotiating with BCBC on other options, he decided to build the bridge.

BCBC supporters claim insufficient traffic studies were completed before deciding to build the new bridge. Cooper claims the new bridge will alleviate traffic on Alabama State Highway 59 in south Baldwin County, giving those trying to avoid the toll a second option.

Attorneys for Cooper stated that BCBC and the company that owns it, DIF, were fully aware they had no contractual rights to exclude a competition bridge and that Cooper revealed his plans before the purchase.

BCBC and its attorneys maintain that spending over $87 million on taxpayer money is not in the public’s interest. The bridge company said in negotiations that the operators offered to allow Baldwin County residents free access to the bridge and offered upgrades to allow more vehicles to get through the toll stations simultaneously.

Cooper gave Scott Bridge Company the green light to start building the bridge despite the lawsuit filing and the possibility that construction could be halted. Now, workers are not allowed to continue construction on the bridge and are only allowed on the property to maintain the integrity of the construction site.

Cooper’s attorneys also claim BCBC wants to delay the building of the bridge to make money on the toll bridge as long as possible, which shows they were acting in bad faith.

"Director Cooper demonstrated that BCBC’s expectations were that the New Bridge would be operational in 2022—but that BCBC could reap significant additional toll revenue for every year it delayed ALDOT’s New Bridge," the brief states. "BCBC contends that it expected to have “good faith” negotiations. BCBC’s real expectations, however, were to make money."

RELATED: Tim James: Baldwin County bridge lawsuit against ALDOT director should matter to everyone

They claim the cost of the delay of construction will cost between $13 - $18 million. The price that has already been accrued on the project is why supporters of BCBC say Cooper should not have allowed construction to begin until legal matters were addressed.

The reply brief can be read in its entirety below.

ALDOT Cooper brief by Erica Thomas on Scribd

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.