Connect with us

The Nation

Potential tolls for Alabama highway project spark opposition

Published

on

This is the concept for the Mobile River Bridge looking east. The current Interstate 10 that leads to the tunnel under the Mobile River is on the left. (Courtesy: ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION)

MOBILE, Ala. — City officials in Mobile say they’re confident the state of Alabama will reduce toll amounts for the proposed Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project.

The Alabama Department of Transportation is considering a $3 to $6 one-way toll to provide the money necessary to pay for the massive project.

The plan under consideration would grant a discount to frequent drivers, Al.com reported .

If there must be a toll, “our goal is to make it the lowest possible for citizens of Mobile,” said George Talbot, a spokesman for Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

Talbot added that city officials are also committed to establishing at least one free route for local drivers.

Other local politicians have made similar statements in recent months. State lawmakers and local officials have said they support the bridge project but were hopeful the Alabama Department of Transportation would lower tolls on local users.

Opposition to any kind of tolls has risen on social media. The Block the Mobile Bayway Toll Facebook group has amassed more than 18,000 followers, and a large portion of them adamantly oppose tolls of any kind.

The project involves building a six-lane cable stay bridge above the Mobile River. It would be 2.5 miles long.

The bridge would be among the tallest in North America, and only 5 feet shorter than the 220-foot height of the Golden Gate Bridge in northern California.

The entire Bayway would also be replaced, rather than merely widened as originally projected. The new Bayway would be a 7.5-mile, eight-lane span crossing Mobile Bay, elevated to a height that would be above a 100-year storm surge level.

 

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Nation

Can you say oversized load!

Published

on

That is big!

 

Continue Reading

The Nation

Diesel prices all but stagnant nationwide, less than 2-cent shift anywhere

Published

on

The average price for a gallon of diesel nationwide fell by 0.7 cents for the week ending July 22, to currently stand at $3.044 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The lack of movement in diesel prices continues a pattern that has been going on for the past month. On June 24, diesel was at 3.042, with changes of less than 1.5 cents every week in between.

Though tiny, the movement in diesel prices was nearly unanimous this past week, down in all but one region of the country.  That one exception was the Rocky Mountain region, where diesel rose 0.3 cents, to $2.978. Year-to-date, diesel prices are lower in every region, with the Rocky Mountain region again being the standout, having the greatest difference, 39.1 cents from this time last year.

California made it a clean sweep for lower diesel prices year-to-date with a drop of 1.3 cents this past week, to $3.939, still by far the highest in the country, but 0.4 cents below this time last year.

Along the rest of the West Coast, diesel dropped 1.1 cents to $3.198, bringing the overall West Coast average to $3.611 per gallon.

The average along the East Coast is currently $3.072, with prices highest in the Central Atlantic, where diesel is going for $3.259 after a 1.3-cent drop. Diesel is $3.122 in New England following a decrease of 0.9 cents over the past week, while in the Lower Atlantic region diesel slipped by 0.4 cents to stand at $2.937 per gallon.

That’s still slightly better than the Midwest, where diesel is going for $2.948 per gallon after a drop of 0.8 cents. Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast, the low-price leader in diesel, fell by the same 0.1 cent it gained the week before to stand at $2.804.

On Monday, increasing tensions between Iran and Western countries failed to produce a sharp reaction in the crude oil markets. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 98 cents, or 1.57%, to settle at $63.45 a barrel. U.S.-based West Texas Intermediate crude rose 59 cents, or 1.06%, to settle at $56.22 a barrel.

Click here for a complete list of average prices by region for the past three weeks.

Continue Reading

The Nation

DOL opinion letter: Time in sleeper berth does not count as compensable time

Published

on

The Department of Labor says the time a truck driver spends in the sleeper berth is not compensable time. Pictured in the Peterbilt 579 UltraLoft sleeper berth. (Courtesy: PETERBILT MOTORS)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor said Monday said it had determined that time spent in the sleeper berth by professional truck drivers while otherwise relieved from duty does not count as compensable time.

The DOL issued the determination in a written opinion letter by the department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) on how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by the individual person or entity that requested the letter.

The American Trucking Associations lauded the opinion.

“ATA welcomes Monday’s opinion letter from DOL Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton that concluded time spent by a commercial driver in the sleeper berth does not count as compensable hours under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, unless the driver is actually performing work or on call,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “This opinion, which is consistent with decades-old DOL regulations, the weight of judicial authority, and the long understanding of the trucking industry, clears up confusion created by two recent court decisions that called the compensability of sleeper berth time into question.

Significantly, this opinion letter provides new guidance, the DOL said.

Under prior guidance, the DOL said WHD interpreted the relevant regulations to mean that while sleeping time may be excluded from hours worked where “adequate facilities” were furnished, only up to eight hours of sleeping time may be excluded in a trip 24 hours or longer, and no sleeping time may be excluded for trips under 24 hours.

“WHD has now concluded that this interpretation is unnecessarily burdensome for employers and instead adopts a straightforward reading of the plain language of the applicable regulation, under which the time drivers are relieved of all duties and permitted to sleep in a sleeper berth is presumptively non-working time that is not compensable,” the opinion letter said. “There may be circumstances, however, where a driver who retires to a sleeping berth is unable to use the time effectively for his or her own purposes. For example, a driver who is required to remain on call or do paperwork in the sleeping berth may be unable to effectively sleep or engage in personal activities; in such cases, the time is compensable hours worked.”

The ATA commended Acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella and Stanton for adopting a straightforward, plain-language reading of the law, rather than the burdensome alternative interpretation embraced by those outlier decisions.

“ATA also commends the department for making guidance like this available through opinion letters, which provide an opportunity for stakeholders to better understand their compliance obligations prospectively, rather than settling such matters only after the fact, through costly and wasteful litigation,” Spear said.

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending