Foley Beach Express / Baldwin Beach Express
Map updated August 15, 2014.
Traveling 13.5 miles between Orange Beach and Alabama 59 north of Foley, the Foley Beach Express consists of a four-lane expressway and two-lane toll bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway (Portage Creek). The expressway was laid across vastly undeveloped land to the east of Foley and the busy AL 59 corridor. A wide right-of-way includes crossovers between County Roads 8 and 12, possibly alluding to an upgrade to limited access standards when traffic counts warrant it. Some development occurred along the Foley Beach Express at Baldwin County 8 and 20.
The toll bridge between Alabama 180 (Canal Road) and Baldwin County 4 (Brown Lane) carries a $3.50 fee for all passenger vehicles. The two-lane span travels 2000 feet and passes above Wharf Parkway and Brown Lane. The span offers a second crossing between the county main land and the coastal resort areas. Future expansion, when funds become available and traffic needs increase, include the building of a second two-lane span over Portage Creek.
Plans for the Foley Beach Express were expanded to include a new four-lane route northward to Interstate 10, east of Loxley. Named the Baldwin Beach Express, construction commenced in 2009 on the first stage of the northward extension. This portion included an upgrade of Baldwin County 28 South, one half mile north from the Foley Beach Express, and the building of a new four-lane roadway north to Baldwin County 32. The 1.50-mile project was completed in 2010.
Additional work between 2010 and October 2012 focused on the Baldwin Beach Express alignment at Baldwin County 64 and 83 east of Rosinton. This construction included the upgrade of Baldwin County 83 south to U.S. 90 into a four-lane divided highway, with a new traffic light added at the south end.
$26 million in funding was allocated to the extension as part of the $286.4 billion highway package approved by Congress on July 29, 2005. Baldwin County officials secured funding for the $111 million-Baldwin Beach Express ($87-mil. for the road, $24-mil. for an interchange with I-10) in December 2010. This included construction of a new interchange between the expressway and Interstate 10 at Baldwin County 68.1
A groundbreaking ceremony took place on March 15, 2013 for the completion of the 12.8-mile long Baldwin Beach Express. The final two phases of work included the link between Baldwin County 32 to U.S. 90 at a cost of $48 million and the link from County Road 64 to Interstate 10 at $16.2-million. Construction was expected to take 20 months on both elements of the four-lane highway.2
Seven miles of the Baldwin Beach Express between County Road 32 and U.S. 90 opened to traffic on June 19, 2014. Signed in the field as Baldwin County 83, opening of this stretch of four-lane roadway provided a seamless link between Orange Beach and County Road 64 near Rosinton.
By May of 2014, two lanes of the eventual four-lane roadway between County Road 64 and County Road 68 at I-10 were open to traffic with two-way traffic. Work on this northernmost stretch of the Baldwin Beach Express continued until a ribbon cutting ceremony held on August 15, 2014. Completion included opening of the new interchange (Exit 49) with Interstate 10.
Progress made at the future diamond interchange with Interstate 10, where the Baldwin Beach Express starts, from Baldwin County 68 south (west). A new overpass was under construction along the west side of the original CR 68 bridge over I-10 while grading for the westbound side ramps was well underway. Photo taken May 4, 2013.
Additional discussion involving the Foley Beach Express includes talks of a southern extension to Alabama 182 (Perdido Beach Boulevard) through Gulf State Park and a northern extension to Interstate 65, by way of the South Alabama Megasite, a proposed 3,009-acre industrial park between Alabama 287 and U.S. 31.
Baldwin Beach Express / Foley Beach Express Guides
- "U.S. House, Senate approve Baldwin highway funding." The Mobile Register, July 30, 2005.
- "Alabama political, business and community leaders gather to celebrate Baldwin Beach Express." The Mobile Register, March 15, 2013.
U.S. Highway 90
U.S. Highway 98
Page Updated 08-15-2014.