ROADS/BRIDGES: Alabama gets going on I-20/59 bridge replacement

The multimillion-dollar project is seen as a sign of progress in a state with nearly one-quarter of its bridges structurally deficient

Bridges News September 10, 2015
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The overall state of bridges in the U.S. presents a troubling visage of departments of transportation struggling to keep up with massive degradation in the face of, basically, not enough money to get things done in a timely or comprehensive manner. Signs of success are usually singular—but no less lauded and valuable for it. Such an instance is about to begin in the downtown area of Birmingham, Ala.
 
The $420 million I-20/59 bridge replacement project begins today in the city. According to Alabama Department of Transportation spokeswoman Linda Crockett, traffic will shift in harmony with lane restriping on I-65 in the downtown area in advance of construction plans that will widen three lanes and raise three bridges before all is said and done.
 
The work is the first step of Phase I of the I-20/59 bridge replacement project. The whole three-phase project is estimated to take approximately four years, and will replace the bridge that carries I-20/59 through downtown Birmingham, along with a reconfiguration of the access ramps to the interstate.
 
Phase 1, a $7.1 million project awarded to Brasfield & Gorrie, will, as mentioned, widen and raise bridges along I-65. The second phase will involve access bridges to I-20/59, and the third and final phase will require the closure of I-20/59 through downtown, which DOT officials are actively preparing a plan for, in order to maintain work progress while mitigating future disruptions to traffic and overall movement through the city.

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