The public turned out and spoke out at last Tuesday’s public meeting to hear FDOT’s plans for the old Trammell Bridge. FDOT presented multiple alternatives to the future of the wetbound bridge and how the alternatives would impact motor vehicle and navigation activities along the project area, as well as identify how the bridge provides service to the local community areas.
FDOT’s preferred alternative consists of removing the Westbound Old Trammell Bridge and converting the existing eastbound bridge into one travel lane in each direction. The bridge approaches for the Old Trammell Bridge would be removed, stormwater drainage systems would be improved, and a sidewalk will be constructed within the southern right-of-way from the existing eastbound bridge to Bristol.
Calhoun County Commissioner Gene Bailey and others attending repeated concerns about removing the bridge. “I expressed my concerns on what happens when it’s used for a hurricane evacuation route. What happens when wrecks increase and shuts down the bridge stranding motorists on the wrong side forcing them to go to I-10? I think closing the bridge would hurt our economic growth’, Bailey stated.
Resident from Calhoun and Liberty counties spoke at the hearing and they all opposed closing the bridge. FDOT was also asked how they could plan three different routes for a turnpike through Calhoun County without notifying the Board of County Commissioners or Calhoun County citizens. They were also asked how they could justify spending 2.8 Billion on a turnpike yet they can not fund a new bridge. “All we can get is a plaque commemorating the Trammell Bridge after it is torn down. Tearing down the bridge and building a turnpike will dry up Calhoun and Liberty counties”, Bailey concluded.