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Ivey signs agreement officially ending beach bridge tolls

FOLEY, Ala. (AP) —Starting today, there will be no charge to drive across the Foley Beach Express Bridge after the state Alabama purchased the private toll bridge.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Wednesday that the state has completed its purchase of the toll bridge in Baldwin County. The $5 toll will be eliminated at noon Thursday and the bridge will be free to cross.

“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,” Ivey said in a statement.

The governor and local officials in Baldwin County held a signing ceremony to mark the completion of the purchase.

The Alabama Department of Transportation purchased the bridge from the Baldwin County Bridge Company for $57 million. Ivey announced the purchase plans in April. An additional $3 million will be paid to the city of Orange Beach for road improvements.

The thoroughfare is a private toll bridge that provides an alternate route to state beaches. Motorists paid $5 per trip to cross the bridge by car.

Alabama is also building another bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway to help ease traffic congestion at the coast. The Baldwin County Bridge Company has sued the state over constructing the new bridge, accusing the state transportation director of acting in bad faith during toll negotiations and then pursuing the new bridge project to financially damage the company.

A judge last year blocked construction of the new bridge, but the Alabama Supreme Court reversed that decision.

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