The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) saved months of traffic disruptions when replacing the first of two roadway bridges along S.R. 210 in Dothan, Ala., near the Georgia and Florida borders. They did so by using the accelerated bridge construction process which utilized bridge sliding practices and closed the road for less than one week.
But the work went faster than planned after crews closed the lanes on Jan. 29, and the road reopened with a newly installed bridge in the southbound lanes just three days later.
The project in Dothan, in the state's southeastern corner near the Georgia and Florida borders, would have required nine to 12 months of lane closures and traffic detours if the agency had used traditional in-place construction methods, ALDOT said.
The work is part of a widening of SR 210, also known as Ross Clark Circle. When it was first built in 1955, that highway section handled 5,000 vehicles per day. Now it carries more than 40,000 daily and traffic often backs up.
To help ease congestion, ALDOT is widening the Circle from four to six lanes in staged projects. When it opted to build two new bridges, one in each direction, it also determined that normal-length closures would disrupt both local and tourist traffic.
The agency set up detours but maintained access to businesses in the construction area. It also encouraged those who might want to see the slide technique to view it on a live video feed on the project website, to keep more people away from the construction zone.