This year, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is hosting the 82nd Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The conference will be in Mobile from August 5-9, just days after director John Cooper is set to go to trial on a harassment charge.

Transportation officials will gather at the conference to discuss industry plans, ideas and challenges. Participants will also get the opportunity to tour Mobile’s Airbus facility.

ALDOT employees have been working to prepare for the conference. Meanwhile, ALDOT director John Cooper has been involved in a high-profile court case over a bridge in Baldwin County and in a court case where he was accused of threatening to shoot his neighbor in Marshall County.

It is unclear if Cooper will be able to attend the conference. A bench trial has been scheduled in the Marshall County case for August 2.

“Mobile is a city, as they say, born to celebrate,” Cooper said in a video about the conference. “While you’re here, we hope you get to enjoy many of the attractions of this area including beautiful Mobile Bay, some delicious Gulf seafood, a tour of the battleship Alabama; you might even venture over to Alabama’s Gulf beaches.”

Cooper said ALDOT will also review some projects currently underway in Alabama.

According to an agenda for the event, there will be a golf tournament, clay shooting and a riverboat cruise ahead of the conference. Topics covered during the conference will be preconstruction, safety, engineering, sustainability and highway expansion.

ALDOT has not responded to a media inquiry regarding the conference.

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