Wallace Tunnel will not have traditional toll booths, local commuters will get discounts


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    If you've ever sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Bayway, you've probably thought that building a bigger bridge was a dream, but tolling the George Wallace tunnel is a nightmare to some people.

    The fears online were expressed quickly... Commuters wanted to know how much they're going to pay, if traffic will be backed up among other concerns.

    We spoke with the bridge project's representative, Allison Gregg, today to get answers to your questions.

    You wanted to know if traffic could bottleneck... But there will be no toll booths.

    "I was watching your Facebook page yesterday too, and I saw people asking questions if they were going to have to stop and pay a toll at a booth," Gregg said.

    That's absolutely not happening.

    "it's going to be all electronic tolling, people will have a transponder, or pay by plate and you'll just keep going," she explained.

    You also wanted to know... Could locals get a discount?

    "Actually, we will have a frequent user discount for the project, that's great for people who live in Baldwin and work in Mobile or vice-versa," Gregg added.

    Others hope the costs stay low compared to other larger cities.

    "Toll collection won't happen until the project is complete, we won't start collecting tolls until 2025," she said.

    Another question you had was how an interstate can be tolled.

    The Wallace Tunnel will not be connected to Interstate 10 in 2025 when tolling starts. I-10 will take the new Mobile River Bridge, which will also be tolled, over Mobile Bay.

    In 2025 the Wallace Tunnel and Bayway will be like the Bankhead Tunnel and the Causeway today, mostly used as an alternative route.

    About 3,000 miles, out of about 46,000 miles, of US interstates are tolled today.

    There will be public feedback meetings in the future and we will keep you posted on when they are.

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