A trial date for the case involving Baldwin County Bridge Company (BCBC) versus Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Director John Cooper has been set. Both parties agreed Tuesday to schedule the trial for Aug. 12, 2024.

Given the lengthy pre-trial hearings, the trial is expected to take five to 10 days.

The BCBC filed a lawsuit against Cooper last year, claiming his plans to build a taxpayer-funded bridge nearby would put the company out of business. BCBC operates the Baldwin Beach Express, and the new bridge being constructed also crosses the Intercoastal Waterway.

Some citizens have said a new bridge is needed to ease traffic congestion going to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. However, BCBC claimed Cooper acted in bad faith when deciding to build the new bridge.

Cooper said BCBC acted in bad faith when filing the lawsuit.

The Alabama Supreme Court threw out BCBC's bad faith claim, saying Cooper had the right to build the new bridge.

BCBC is also seeking compensation for the loss of value of the toll bridge, damage costs, legal costs and compensatory damages. The company has already raised the toll for some motorists, blaming the hike on inflation and Cooper's actions.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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