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Traveling through Western Alabama

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Traveling through Western Alabama

Unread postby skipnchar on Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:00 pm

We were towing our 25 foot Coachmen on an extended trip to the Southeastern part of the US several years ago. We had been camping at Energy Lake Campground on Lake Barkley in Kentucky for the last couple of weeks and were now heading toward Dauphin Island Alabama. We left Lake Barkley and eventually picked up Highway 13 in Alabama and were coming into Tuscaloosa shortly after lunch time. I LOATHE driving in heavy traffic so I took interest in several billboards along the highway advertising a "by-pass via toll bridge". Though Tuscaloosa isn't a huge city, if it had a by-pass via toll bridge, I was going to take it so I didn't have to find OUT about how bad the traffic is.

When we reach the outskirts of town I found myself in the wrong lane when the turn off to the toll bridge appeared so I couldn't make the turn. No problem since we almost ALWAYS try to see an area from both directions (for varying reasons) so I pulled into a gas station and did a U turn and headed back to the turn off.

It didn't take long until we came to the toll booths and they stretched across a number of traffic lanes, validating the NEED for a by-pass, in my mind at least. I don't remember the exact amount of the toll but it's wasn't all that cheap but would be well worth it "thinks me". Strange though, there was almost NO traffic anywhere to be seen. There must have been 6 or 8 toll booths and I was the only vehicle at any of them.

We paid the toll and headed off down the very wide road with no sign of the bridge yet. After about a half mile some of the lanes began to drop off and then some more until we were on a 4 lane road now. We began to notice side roads where other traffic could enter the road (how the heck can that be since we just paid something like $10.00 for the privilege. WE even saw a couple of other vehicles enter the road and speed off ahead of us.

By now the highway was down to a 2 lane highway and traffic was again coming from the other direction. DW and I were both looking at each other wondering where the heck that bridge was. Longer story short, we never DID come to any bridge, never ran into any traffic and really felt kind of impressed that they could come up with that kind of money making scheme. Seems like that darned bridge would pay for itself in no time at those rates LOL.

4 hours later when we were almost to Dauphin Island, every time we'd cross a culvert on the highway we'd laugh about it and wonder if THAT was the toll bridge.

If anyone can enlighten me as to what happened to us on that day (like some local resident) I'd love to hear what stupid thing we must have done to loose the bridge.
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Re: Traveling through Western Alabama

Unread postby JQSpree on Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:31 pm

Skip,
Nice story. Based on the activity I see here with only me online and I just signed up, you may have to wait a while for "a local" to have your answer.

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Re: Traveling through Western Alabama

Unread postby bamasurveyor on Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:17 am

Hey Skip,
That's a new one on me, I'm not from that part of Alabama and as far as I know they are just getting into the toll road business(all private ventures). But I've never heard of a $10.00 fare for one either so that's two up on me. :oops:
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Re: Traveling through Western Alabama

Unread postby skipnchar on Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:30 am

I was guessing about the AMOUNT of the fee as the whole thing was several years ago. The fare was for 4 axles and not that much different than our Kansas Turnpike for the same. I don't even know what "body of water" the bridge was supposed to span so I'm completely in the dark.
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Re: Traveling through Western Alabama

Unread postby bamasurveyor on Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:09 am

For that part of the State, I would guess you would have crossed the Tombigbee River in the north, or the Alabama /Mobile River in the south. I'm still I'm not aware of a toll road, but like I said, not being from that area,I don't know. :?
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