Etowah Co. lawmaker: Lack of bridge plans might affect vote for gas tax

Etowah Co. lawmaker: Lack of bridge plans might affect vote for gas tax

ETOWAH COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - A state lawmaker from Etowah County says he may not vote for Gov. Kay Ivey’s proposed gas tax.

At issue, according to Craig Lipscomb, is the northbound bridge that connects Southside and Rainbow City on Highway 77. We told you Monday about the Southside bridge.

A one-lane bridge built in 1939 supports a two-lane northbound lane, while a two lane southbound lane was built in 1979.

Petitions are circulating over traffic congestion caused by the lack of a two-lane bridge heading north.

Lipscomb, a Republican who represents Southside, says ALDOT director John Cooper told him there were no plans for any such bridge. He says Cooper told him that might not change in the future.

“I’ve been told by ALDOT director John Cooper that with or without an infrastructure bill being approved by the legislature, that there will not be a replacement of the antiquated northbound bridge in Southside. It just is not a priority to him,” Lipscomb originally told us in a statement.

“I guess if you are a resident of Southside, Rainbow City or any city between the Honda plant and their suppliers, that you just don’t matter as much to the State of Alabama and Governor Ivey as everyone else does. Apparently promises to Honda and residents of House District 30 were just lies. How can the Governor expect me to vote yes on a gas tax that will not benefit my constituents?”

Now Lipscomb is considering voting against the gas tax, if his constituents don't get anything out of it.

“We’ve got people who work at Honda, people who go to school back and forth across the bridge. We’ve got tier-two and tier-three suppliers going back and forth to the Honda plant, that would like to be in a non-congested area obviously,” Lipscomb said.

We’ve reached out to Lipscomb on Friday but were told he was away from his office.

“Mr. Cooper is traveling and is out of the office for the remainder of the week. He will reach out to you once he returns to the office next week,” an ALDOT spokesperson told WBRC by email.

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