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Beach Express Bridge carries 25 percent more traffic over holiday weekend after toll removal

A view of a marina under a bridge on SR-161 in Baldwin County
The early signs are positive for those who choose the Beach Express Bridge for travel to and from Alabama's beaches.
Jun 11

Memorial Day weekend is a traditionally busy time for the Beach Express Bridge in Baldwin County. This year, however, saw a significant increase in traffic volume following the toll removal.

The Beach Express Bridge carried up to 25 percent more traffic on the Saturday-Sunday following toll removal than the previous year. This suggests that the toll removal has made the bridge a more attractive option for drivers.

ALDOT removed the toll on the Beach Express Bridge on Thursday, May 23, immediately after paying $57 million to buy the bridge from its corporate owner. State ownership came just in time to make the Beach Express Bridge toll-free for the busy Memorial Day weekend, a time typically referred to as the unofficial start of summer.

The early signs are positive for those who choose the Beach Express Bridge for travel to and from Alabama’s beaches.

“The traffic numbers for the Memorial Day weekend show that a toll-free bridge is already carrying more traffic,” said Brian Aaron, ALDOT’s Assistant Southwest Region Engineer. “Our goal has always been to reduce congestion on Highway 59, so we’re off to a good start. The next step is to remove the toll booth structures to help traffic flow more smoothly. The removal of the toll booths will improve efficiency and eliminate the current slow down as vehicles navigate through that area.”

This move is part of ALDOT’s ongoing effort to improve traffic flow and accessibility for Alabama residents and visitors. With the toll removal, all roads leading to Alabama’s beautiful beaches are now toll-free, making it easier and more affordable for everyone to enjoy the state’s natural treasures. This is a significant step forward for reducing congestion and boosting tourism and economic development in coastal Alabama.