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Efforts to save B.B. Comer Bridge continue

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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) -- The efforts to save the B.B. Comer Bridge in Jackson County continue as time slowly treads toward its destruction.

An organization called the Comer Bridge Foundation has worked for months to save the decades old bridge from demolition. One new bridge is already built, another, nearing completion.

Recently the organization went to the Scottsboro City Council to bring up the idea of forming a tourism authority, which would include the bridge.

The idea in part is to save the bridge and create a tourist destination. Scottsboro city officials say the area the bridge encompasses also belongs to Jackson County, and say they would approach the idea of the authority if the county would agree to it too.

The county is planning to discuss that and then provide an answer, but city leaders and Commission Chair Matthew Hodges say there are several questions -- like what kind of responsibilities they would assume if the authority is created. "So we're kind of in the beginning process as far as if we're going to be involved in the authority or not," Hodges says, "We need that information presented to us before we can discuss or make a decision on it."

Hodges says the state-owned bridge would have to be released to a government tied organization. "So that's why the city and county have been asked to participate in this authority," Hodges says.

Hodges says the group will provide more information and then present it to the commission at a future meeting. "Once they do we'll listen to their proposal and then go from there," Hodges says.

Officials say they support the efforts to save the bridge, but say they need to have several questions answered and explore the means it would take and the avenues it would encompass to form the authority before either the city or the county say yes to its formation.

The Comer Bridge Foundation is working on providing an economic impact study, that would show citizens and officials how much of an impact the bridge can bring to the area if it remains.