Florida has weighed in on a $2.7 billion Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway proposal unveiled by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) last year.

The Florida Turnpike, the Garcon Point Bridge, the Mid-Bay Bridge, the Sawgrass Expressway, the Suncoast Parkway, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (part of the Eisenhower Interstate System's I-275) and Alligator Alley (part of the Eisenhower Interstate System's I-75) are just some of the tolled highways and bridges one may encounter traveling in Florida.

Despite this legacy of tolled roads in Florida, including some on interstate highways, 70 miles away from what would be the foot of the proposed bridge, a few of the Santa Rosa County Commissioners in Milton, Fla. are publicly expressing their opposition to the I-10 project.

Interstate 10 stretches from Santa Monica, Calif. to Jacksonville, Fla., passing through Mobile and Baldwin counties and continuing east through Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Florida.

According to a report in a recent edition of Santa Rosa's Press Gazette, Santa Rosa County Commissioner Colten Wright said he took "great issue" with a "tax" on a major interstate thoroughfare.

"Generally speaking, I have no problem with tolls and consumption taxes, I think that's typically a more fair way to tax," Wright said to the Press Gazette. "If you were looking at a bridge that was an alternate route, I wouldn't have a problem with the tax. But I take great issue with placing a tax on a major interstate thoroughfare."

According to the story, Wright's colleague on the commission, James Calkins, echoed that view.

"Interstates should not be tolled. Period," Calkins said. "That's the roads that we should be able to use to get across the nation ... Well, where is our tax money going if we're paying a toll to use the same road that our tax money is supposed to pay for?"

The current proposal includes a toll of $2.50 or less for passenger vehicles with an Algo transponder and $5.50 for those without. The toll would be $18 or less for trucks. It also includes an unlimited use pass for $40 per month for passenger vehicles.

The bridge was green-lit by the Eastern Shore and Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organizations last month.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.

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