Aug. 16, 2018

Minutes of the August 16, 2018 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Ernest Ladd at 12:15 PM. Casi Callaway offered the invocation. Larry Sindel led the club in song and the Pledge of Allegiance. Bill Oppenheimer accompanied on the piano. Bob Chappelle welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians.
• Ernest Ladd announced that the Board meeting is to be held today in the Ashland Suite
• Ernest Ladd recognized Robbie McClure as a Paul Harris Fellow times 2.
• Ernest Ladd reminded everyone to pick up their copy of the annual roster
• Ernest Ladd introduced those members who have had perfect attendance. The list includes twenty-nine members ranging from five with one-year perfect attendance to John Moses with thirty-five years.
Program: Matt Ericksen, Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Project
Kate Carver introduced Matt Ericksen, Project Director
The speaker provided a thorough update on the much anticipated Mobile River Bridge addition and complete Bayway replacement. When the George Wallace tunnel was constructed in the 1970s it was built for a capacity of 35,000 vehicles per day. Average daily volume today is 75,000 vehicles. There have been multiple days of volume well in excess of 100,000 vehicles per day. Projections are that without building the new bridge and Bayway, daily traffic in 2030 will be similar to peak summer travel traffic.
The new project will encompass approximately 12 miles beginning at the Broad Street interchange and concluding east of the Eastern Shore interchange. There will be modifications to seven interchanges. The bridge will be three lanes each heading east and west. The Bayway will be four lanes on each side and will be constructed approximately 10 feet higher than the current Bayway which is higher than the 100-year storm surge level. The entire project will be a public/private partnership will tolling going both east and west including the Bayway, River Bridge and Wallace tunnel. Cost is estimated at $2billion. Funding sources will be Private Equity, Public Subsidy, Private Activity Bonds and Federal Loan. Both the Bankhead tunnel and Causeway will continue as toll free.
The bridge will be a cable design very similar to the Cochran bridge and will have a vertical clearance of 215 feet……which is 60 feet higher than the Cochran bridge.
The project is in the industry review stage which includes development of the RFP. Construction is forecast to begin in 2020 and the project to be operational in 2025. More information including an animated video can be located at
Ernest Ladd thanked the speaker for his encouraging remarks and update on the project and noted that in his honor a donation has been made to the Rotary Children’s Foundation.
The meeting adjourned at 12:52 PM.
Rob Diehl