I-65 bridge repair begins

I-65 bridge

Sunday morning, work began on the repair of the General W.K. Wilson, Jr. Bridge on Interstate 65.

Commonly known as the Dolly Parton bridge to locals, the bridge was damaged May 22 after two tractor trailers collided, causing a fire that burned for several hours on the Middle River crossing of the northbound section.

Beginning today, the southbound portion of the bridge will be reduced to one lane as crews install a temporary barrier rail in preparation for repairs, according to Alabama Department of Transportation officials.

“The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) awarded the repair contract to McInnis Construction, LLC after certifying its $2.3 million bid was the lowest that met project requirements,” said Kathryn Hamlett, Media and Communications Officer with ALDOT.  “The scope of work includes replacing 250 feet of bridge deck and heat straightening approximately 50 feet of the girder that was damaged in the fire.”

Hamlett added the awarded contract for bridge reconstruction is set for 25 calendar days and includes special incentives to complete the project as quickly as possible.

The summer months can be busy ones for travelers on the interstate.

Out of town tourists as well as locals use the interstate system to head to favorite locations like Dauphin Island, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for their summer vacations.

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