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Alabama port backups force drivers into “very unsafe” conditions on I-10

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Alabama port backups onto Interstate 10 are forcing truck drivers into “very unsafe” situations just trying to enter the port, drivers say. 

The Port in Mobile, Alabama is along Interstate 10 near the Virginia Street exit, and gets backed up so substantially that the traffic waiting to get into the port is often stopped on the interstate, creating issues for truckers and motorists. 

“It’s like coming off of I-10, and you’re looking in the mirror, and you got 4-wheelers coming behind you, and they want to get off of Virginia Street, so they’ll shoot around you and then see the whole long line, and then they try to get back in,” explained Ronald Bell, a truck driver who frequents the port. 

“It’s unsafe, very unsafe,” he said.  

“When the port gets back backed up on Interstate-10 eastbound and the westbound lane, I mean it’s a hazard because you got to park on the side of the interstate,” Eddie Simmons, another local driver, said. “I mean, they’d be out there for hours at a time.”

Simmons says that, not only are the Alabama port backups dangerous to their safety, they’re dangerous for trucker’s wallets. 

“You know, we don’t deliver the load, we’re not getting paid. So it’s not like we’re getting paid by the hour.”

According to WKRG 5, blame for the Alabama port backups has been passed around from organizations to organization. The Alabama Department of Transportation says that they have discussed the issue with the Alabama Port Authority, who blamed the issue on terminal operators. The terminal is currently operated by a company named APM Terminal. APM Terminal has since blamed the backups on bad weather earlier in the week forcing the temporary closure of the terminal. 

“So why is it that this port can’t seem to get that little glitch out of getting this jammed out?” Bell said. “Getting this backed up, those trucks out here—that’s making 4-wheelers unsafe as well as us unsafe.”

“I think the city needs to get with the port and go back to why the drivers park on the interstate because it’s a hassle,” Simmons said.

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