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Foley Beach Express / Baldwin Beach Express

Map updated October 1, 2012.

Currently 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 vastly undeveloped but growth along side the road has occurred at Baldwin County 8 and 20. 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.

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 ultimately connect it with Interstate 10, east of Loxley, as the Baldwin Beach Express. Construction commenced in 2009 on the first stage of the northward extension, 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, the first under the Baldwin Beach Express name, 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 includes 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 include 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 is expected to take 20 months on both elements of the four-lane highway.2

Progress made at the future diamond interchange with Interstate 10, where the Baldwin Beach Express will start, from Baldwin County 68 south (west). A new overpass is under construction along the west side of the present bridges over I-10 while grading for the westbound side ramps is 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

Baldwin Beach Express Construction - east of Summerdale
Looking at construction of the Baldwin Beach Express from the original Baldwin County 28 South roadway that now represents the southbound side of the four-lane expressway. Photo taken 03/08/09.
Barricades blocked fresh asphalt applied for the eventual northbound carriageway of the Baldwin Beach Express at Baldwin County 28. Photo taken 03/08/09.
Looking north at road construction for the Baldwin Beach Express from the original intersection where the east-west and north-south sections of Baldwin County 28 met. The Baldwin Beach Express (Baldwin County 83) replaced one half mile of Baldwin County 28 South (the north-south segment) in fall 2009. Photo taken 03/08/09.
Engel Road was a dirt road leading south from Baldwin County 32 to 28 that was paved over to become the southbound lanes of the Baldwin Beach Express. This southerly view shows expressway construction from County Road 32. Photo taken 03/08/09.
Baldwin Beach Express construction at Baldwin County 32 and Lehman Lane in east Summerdale. The next section of roadway to open will extend the expressway north to Baldwin County 36 at junction Baldwin County 83. Work will overlay the unpaved Lehman Lane north to Fred Dugger Road west. Photo taken 03/08/09.
Baldwin Beach Express Construction - east of Loxley
Tree clearing and the initial pavement layer for both carriageways of the Baldwin Beach Express visible from the end of County Road 83 at U.S. 90. Photo taken 11/27/11.
Grading continues for the Baldwin Beach Express south of U.S. 90. Bridges over the Blackwater River were in early stages of construction. Photo taken 09/27/12.

Looking northward along County Road 83 from U.S. 90 toward the 2011-completed bridge over Davis Branch. Two-way traffic utilized the future northbound carriageway of the Baldwin Beach Express at this time. Photo taken 11/27/11.
An Interstate 10 shield was added to County Road 83 northbound after it begins from U.S. 90. A second trailblazer follows on County Road 64 after the former County Road 83 terminus intersection. Photo taken 11/27/11.
Construction of the Baldwin Beach Express overtakes Baldwin County 83 just south of County Road 63. The current two-lane roadway of CR-83 travels within the foot print of the future southbound Express. Photo taken 09/05/11.
Culvert work and grading for the eventual northbound lanes of the Baldwin Beach Express in this scene from Farmers Lane. Photo taken 09/05/11.
The Baldwin Beach Express will veer northwest from County Road 83 just north of Farmers Lane. The future southbound lanes come into view north of Farmers Lane. Photo taken 09/05/11.
County Road 64 crosses the future path of the Baldwin Beach Express just west of its intersection with CR-83. Asphalt was laid for the future southbound carriageway at the time of this photograph by September 2011, with CR-83 shifting to the new roadway by November 2011. Photo taken 09/05/11. Second photo taken 11/27/11.
Between September and November 2011, County Road 83 shifted westward along the future Baldwin Beach Express alignment to end at County Road 64 opposite a cotton field. The original alignment to CR-64 was closed. Photo taken 11/27/11.
County Road 83 traffic used the future southbound carriageway of the Baldwin Beach Express from County Road 64 southward as pavement was still being laid for the northbound roadway. Photo taken 11/27/11.
Entering the future diamond interchange between Baldwin County 68 east and Interstate 10 near Rosinton. Construction started on March 18, 2013 on a 20-month project to add ramps between the future north end of the Baldwin Beach Express and Interstate 10. Photo taken 05/04/13.
Grading for the eventual westbound off-ramp from Interstate 10 to County Road 68 and the Baldwin Beach Express. Photo taken 05/04/13.
A look at the future westbound on-ramp to Mobile from the Baldwin Beach Express north end and County Road 68. Photo taken 05/04/13.

Sources:

  1. "U.S. House, Senate approve Baldwin highway funding." The Mobile Register, July 30, 2005.
  2. "Alabama political, business and community leaders gather to celebrate Baldwin Beach Express." The Mobile Register, March 15, 2013.
Photo Credits:
2009-03-08, 2011-09-05, 2011-11-27, 2012-09-27, 2013-05-04 by AARoads

Connect with:
U.S. Highway 90
U.S. Highway 98
Alabama 59
Alabama 180

Page Updated 05-06-2013.

 
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