Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon spoke for the first time Tuesday about the Supreme Court of Alabama's ruling that will allow the building of a new bridge in Gulf Shores to continue. He said he wanted to clear up misconceptions and hoped the expensive bridge project wouldn't detract from other city transportation needs.

The ruling was in favor of Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) director John Cooper in his case appealing a preliminary injunction halting the construction of a bridge in south Baldwin County.

The Court ordered on August 25 that the lower court reverse the preliminary injunction.

The Supreme Court ruled the lower court did not have jurisdiction over the bad faith claim made by the Baldwin County Bridge Company (BCBC) against Cooper. The Court concluded the claim by BCBC is barred by State immunity.

Kennon said he respects the ruling, but time will tell if the bridge is really worth it. He also said he wants to set the record straight on "bald-faced lies" he accused the press of telling.

"This goes back several years, and the premise of all of this was about the ability to move large volumes of summertime traffic," Kennon said. "Not local traffic, not off-season traffic. Everything was about summertime traffic, and what they've come up with, in my opinion, does nothing but complicate the summer, especially for the city of Orange Beach, and it really bothers me that they don't care."

"The propaganda from Gulf Shores and the state trying to insinuate that Orange Beach was making decisions based on our receiving money and not based on what was the best interest of moving traffic really angers me because those were true lies," he continued.

The city of Orange Beach gets money for every car that crosses the BCBC. It makes up about 1.5% of the city's entire budget.

"Early on, we volunteered to give up every single penny of our contract if the state built a northbound road and a southbound road, which is what Mr. Cooper wanted to do," Kennon added. "And then on another occasion, we gave up $15 million just to make that contract work so we could move forward. And on multiple occasions, we said we would give up our money to buy free passes for our citizens if that's what we needed to do."

The mayor of Gulf Shores has been outspoken about his support for the bridge and his thoughts on Kennon's motivation to want to expand the toll bridge instead.

"I am not a party to this," Craft told 1819 News in October last year. "Tony [Kennon] is more so than I am because they do earn a portion of the toll bridge, and I think he's concerned this will be a financial hit to them."

RELATED: ALDOT, Gulf Shores Mayor Craft applaud Alabama Supreme Court decision on new Intercoastal Waterway bridge — 'An important victory'

Kennon said it is discouraging that claims have been made that "impugn his integrity."

"We have said many times we would give up that 1.5% in a heartbeat to improve traffic flow and we've made that clear to Mr. Cooper and we made that clear in every negotiation that we went through," he continued. "If they came up with a way to flow traffic very efficiently on and off the island, the money was not ever going to be an impediment to that project. So, again, it's just so important for people to see that it is propaganda."

Kennon said going forward, he is concerned that ALDOT may pull back from projects in the county because of the bridge.

"Now what has happened, Cooper is spending all that money in Gulf Shores, and Baldwin County won't see another dime of money from ALDOT for some time," he said. "Because we had it to where if we worked a deal out with the bridge and it was going to be free for Baldwin County, that other money that is being spent on the bridge could have gone somewhere else. But no someone screwed the pooch, and I can't figure out why."

Kennon said he is also concerned that the BCBC will cease to invest in improvements. He also said the route to the new bridge will be difficult.

"It's six 90-degree turns, three new intersections before you ever get to where the bridge company dumps out and it's a two-lane bridge," Kennon added. "So, how many people will actually try to negotiate those turns to those intersections and those roads to get to a two-lane bridge."

As for the people of Gulf Shores, Kennon said it will be convenient for them and for those who have to get to the new Gulf Shores High School to have the new bridge.

Craft told 1819 News that he hoped the two could put the issue behind them and do what's best for both cities. Kennon said his job is to fight for Orange Beach.

"I'm going to do what's best for my city no matter what, whether I like Mr. Craft or not," Kennon said. "But I grew up in an era where your reputation, honor and integrity meant something. I'm still old school in that respect. My folks trust me, and I need to be able to trust the mayor next door."

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