[WATCH] Talladega Co. Commission unanimously approves issuing Coosa River Express license

TALLADEGA, Ala. – The Talladega Co. Commission unanimously approved issuing a license to Tim James, Inc. (TJI) for the purpose of construction and operation of a toll bridge (Coosa River Express) across the Coosa River.

BELOW: Watch the entire Talladega Co. Commission public hearing on the Coosa River Express and hear from those involved in the meeting.

The item on the Commission’s agenda drew a crowd of well over one hundred citizens to the Talladega County Courthouse Monday night. Nearly 20 people stood at the lectern voicing their opinion about the privately-funded venture by the son of former Alabama Governor Fob James.

James told SylacaugaNews.com no tax dollars will be spent on the bridge or the infrastructure surrounding the project. The bridge would once again connect Talladega Co. and Shelby Co. over the Coosa River after years without a ferry.

The bridge would connect I-65 at Calera to US 280 in Sylacauga.

Total, approximately 32-33 miles, including about 27 miles of new and improved roadways, will be constructed by TJI, and dedicated to Shelby and Talladega counties.

The plan: TJI would construct a private toll bridge over the Coosa River approximately 1,600 feet long with two, 12-foot-wide lanes and 8-foot-wide shoulders costing between $30-$40 million.

After permitting, which should take somewhere between 12-18 months, construction process should take about 12 months.

TJI has indicated the venture is a “for profit” business venture.

View the video below to hear from Tim James, CEO of Tim James, Inc., Greg Atkinson, Talladega Co. Commissioner for District 5, and Justinn Overton, Executive Director of Coosa Riverkeeper.

Michael Brannon is a former news and sports anchor from Mobile, Ala. and serves as RadioAlabama's Executive Vice President, Managing Editor & Director of Digital Projects & Strategy.

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