The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) is still seeking federal funding following a 60-day pause on the Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project.

The estimated $3.5 billion project was paused while officials worked to find a way to fund the project after inflation and other factors doubled the estimated costs.

Members of the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Mobile Metro Planning Organization (MPO) traveled to Washington during the two-month period to advocate for federal support. ALDOT officials have also met with the Federal Highway Administration administrator, the USDOT Build America Bureau executive director, and design-build teams to figure out ways to save money on the project.

Although the MPOs said the meetings were fruitful, USDOT is still requesting that ALDOT apply for a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan. ALDOT said it would ask for the maximum amount, now 49% of the project cost.

State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) told 1819 News that is a better percentage than what has been available in the past.

“I don't see any real change here,” Elliott said. “They've moved the allowable amount that you can borrow up to about half of the project cost as long as the revenue projections from the toll study indicate that you can afford that.”

A TIFIA loan would cover nearly half the project cost and be low-interest, but Elliott said there is still a long way to go.

The Bayway project would consist of six-lane bridges across Mobile Bay to the Mobile River Bridge project, a cable-stayed bridge across the Mobile River.

The state has already secured $125 million in federal funds and committed $250 million. Some costs will be funded through toll revenue.

ALDOT has also applied for three federal discretionary grants.

“We are committed to this project and will continue to do everything possible to ensure its success,” ALDOT said in a joint statement with the MPOs. “Project costs, roughly $3 to $3.5 billion, are nearly double ALDOT’s annual budget, which is intended to construct and administer projects in every corner of the state. Interstate 10, the fourth-longest interstate in the country, spans 2,460 miles through eight states. Only 66 miles of this interstate are in Alabama, the least of any state along the I-10 corridor.”

“This project is essentially shovel-ready except for an inflation-driven gap in funding,” the statement continued. “At the end of the day, we need the federal government to continue working with us in recognizing the national importance of this project and join us in making it a reality.”

The work already completed on the project includes right-of-way acquisitions and federal approvals.

“They've got some engineering going on,” Jack Burrell, chairman of Eastern Shore MPO, told 1819 News. “Things are moving, but as far as them just starting to burn through money, they can't until they get all that financing in place.”

Burrell said he was pleased with the feedback from ALDOT, and he felt hopeful about the state applying for more grants.

“As much as it pains me to say so, we're not sticking a shovel in the ground and going full steam ahead,” he said. “But I think the takeaway is that we feel really good about it. It’s not dead by a long shot, so that’s good news.”

Officials did not say when work would resume.

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 or become a member to gain access to exclusive content and 1819 News merch.