Transportation Planning for the Future
MOBILE MOVES FREIGHT
Mobile is the southern terminus of I-65 which runs north/south through Alabama for 366 miles and ending in Chicago. Interstate I-10 runs from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, passing through the 67 mile wide breadth of southern Alabama and intersecting with I-65 just west of downtown Mobile. The resulting 97 miles of freeway in the urban area of Mobile provides for outstanding flexibility for freight moving through, as well as terminating or originating in Mobile.
Mobile, however, is feeling the effects of growth of freight traffic as well as general passenger travel as the weighted average vehicle travel speed on our freeways has dropped from 69.0 MPH in 2003 to 67.3 in 2007. Average travel speeds on our major arterials also dropped from 35.75 in 2003 to 34.4 MPH in 2007. It is further estimated that between the base year 2000 and 2030 some additional 30,000 vehicles per day will use the interstates by 2030 and in some areas 50,000 or more daily.
Improvements have been underway for some time including intersection improvements in key areas, extensive widening of arterials, building the “new” U. S. Hwy 98, etc. In the future, however, new roadways must be built both for freight considerations and for general growth in the area. In various stages of planning are an “outer loop” in the western area of our MATS connecting I-10 to I-65, construction of the north/south “West Alabama Highway” with its terminus in western Mobile taking pressure off I-65, and a new interstate bridge over the Mobile River to alleviate further congestion in the existing tunnel systems under the river. (See link at left “30 Year Long Range Plan”).