Drilling begins for new Orange Beach bridge
Barge-mounted drill rigs are being deployed from Barber Marina to begin drilling for geotechnical assessment in the locations of the proposed Wolf Bay Bridge support piles. Drilling commenced on the north side of the Bay on Feb. 27 and will be operational 24 hours a day on weekdays only. Drilling is anticipated to continue for approximately one month. As the drill rigs move to the southern shore of Wolf Bay, noise impacts will be assessed and the activity limited to daylight hours, if necessary.
The City of Orange Beach will use bed tax funds to pay for a free bridge over Wolf Bay. Projected revenue from a two percent increase in the lodging tax is expected to generate $5-$6 million per year from the city’s condo row. Those funds will also pay for other road and traffic congestion improvements in the city, as well as beach renourishment ($20M) and ongoing Perdido Pass dredging ($5M) projects. The estimated cost of the Wolf Bay Bridge is $40 to $60 million. It is scheduled for completion in 2020.
The bridge will cross the Intracoastal Canal directly north of Hwy. 161 and cut through parcels of land owned by the Lorenz and Barber families. It will connect to County Rd. 95, where traffic can either proceed north to Hwy. 98 or west to the Foley Beach Express. The State of Alabama is planning to build a bridge about a mile and a half west of the Foley Beach Express Bridge, also with a 2020 target completion date.
Pictured: Conceptual design for new Wolf Bay Bridge at the intersection of Canal Rd. and Orange Beach Blvd. (Hwy. 161).