Local officials seek yes vote for Beach Express Toll Commission
Amendment 2 could create funds to extend Express to Hwy. 65
A South Baldwin based group of public officials and business owners is backing an amendment in the Nov. 3 election that would enable the county to establish a toll commission to help pay for a 24-mile extension of the Baldwin Beach Express. It would go from where it ends today at Buc-ee’s north to a connection with I-65.
The toll will be 100 percent paid for by drivers who use the new route and will only apply to this specific road extension. Drivers will have the option to take the toll route or choose from other existing roads that don’t require tolls.
The Choose2 website said that Baldwin County’s population has grown by 45 percent since Hurricane Ivan in 2004. But there have been no evacuation routes added in the intervening 16 years.
A similar measure failed in 2016 but it gave the toll commission board authority to establish toll roads through the county. While it received approval statewide, Baldwin County voters cast ballots against the commission. The bill authorizing the addition of Amendment 2 to the general election ballot was sponsored by State Rep. Steve McMillan, R-Foley.
“Whether we move forward with that is going to be up to the people to decide not a bunch of people in Montgomery forcing it down our throats,” Senator Chris Elliott. “It gives the people in Baldwin County the right to vote on whether or not to establish a toll authority in Baldwin County specifically for and only specifically for the northern part of the Beach Express.’’