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Governor Ivey signs paperwork finalizing state’s purchase of the Foley Beach Express Bridge, bridge to become toll free

Governor Kay Ivey addresses a room
Governor Kay Ivey gave remarks and ceremonially signed paperwork accepting locally-owned roadway and right of way assets related to the state’s purchase of the Foley Beach Express toll bridge
May 22

Governor Kay Ivey today joined local officials in Baldwin County to sign paperwork that finalizes the state of Alabama’s purchase of the Foley Beach Express toll bridge.

The chairman of the Baldwin County Commission and the mayors of Foley, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach all joined Governor Ivey at Foley City Hall on the eve of the state taking ownership of the toll bridge.

At today’s ceremonial signing, Governor Ivey noted the positive impact of this agreement for Alabamians and visitors.

“Our Coast continues to experience record growth and success, and I am proud we are making needed infrastructure improvements in the area that will help alleviate traffic congestion for Alabamians and those visiting our beaches,” said Governor Ivey. “I am proud of the significant progress we are making on infrastructure projects. In fact, we are making so much headway down here that I think folks in other parts of the state are taking notice.”

Over the past year, Baldwin County and Foley asked the Alabama Department of Transportation to assume maintenance responsibilities for its portions of the Beach Express route from Interstate 10 all the way to Orange Beach via the Baldwin Beach Express toll bridge. With the agreement for the state to buy the Beach Express bridge, Orange Beach, Foley and Baldwin County agreed to withdraw from their agreements related to the bridge. Gulf Shores is granting right of way to ALDOT for access to the new bridge it’s building over the Intracoastal Waterway. 

Foley Mayor Ralph Hellmich, Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft, Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon and Baldwin County Commission Chair Billie Jo Underwood signed the various documents related to the state’s pending ownership and the end of tolling. Under state ownership, tolling is scheduled to end at noon Thursday, May 23, with the completion of the financial closing process.

During today’s ceremonial signing, Governor Ivey recognized the important work of Alabama’s engineers and the combined efforts and leadership that was needed to establish the purchase agreement.

“It took a lot of teamwork to get us here today, and I know we are all excited to put pen to paper and make this purchase official,” said Governor Ivey.

ALDOT purchased the Foley Beach Express Bridge for $57 million. An additional $3 million will be paid to the city of Orange Beach for its use with local road improvements. Governor Ivey announced the purchase April 2024.

With the end of tolling, all routes to Alabama’s beaches will be toll-free.  ALDOT will implement a temporary traffic management plan immediately to move two-way traffic through the toll plaza.  In mid-June, at a specific date to be announced later, ALDOT will remove the toll booths and re-stripe the roadway for free-flowing traffic.