MOBILE/BALDWIN COUNTIES, Ala. (WALA) – If you are getting ready to drive on the W.K. Wilson, Junior, Bridge, also known as the Dolly Parton Bridge on I-65, be prepared for some delays.
One lane on the southbound span is already closed as work starts to make permanent repairs from a fiery tractor trailer accident last month.
Two 18 wheelers collided on the northbound span of the Wilson Bridge in May, creating a huge fire.
One driver was killed.
Damage from the accident is still visible.
Brian Aaron with the Alabama Department of Transportation said, “The intense heat from the fire caused damage to the concrete deck, caused the concrete to actually pop up.”
So, workers will remove about 250 feet of the concrete deck, straighten the external steel girder, or support beam, then re-pour a new concrete deck and barrier rail.
Aaron said the entire northbound bridge will be closed for about 25 days.
The closure should begin Friday or earlier.
Traffic will have to cross over to the southbound span, with one lane of traffic each way, and temporary concrete barriers to separate the two.
REMEMBERING THE ACCIDENT
One of the motorists we talked to driving on the bridge Monday was Ken Matz, a trucker from Baldwin County.
He said he was stuck in traffic on the bridge the day the accident happened.
Matz said, “We sat down there for about two hours, two and a half hours, before the state troopers turned us around and let us head back to Mobile, because there was no way we could head home.”
45 MPH SPEED LIMIT
Matz knows he and other motorists will have to drive more slowly while the work is going on.
Aaron said, “The speed limit is 45 miles per hour. We do have state troopers on the scene. They will be enforcing that strictly.”
Its expected to take from mid to late July to finish the repairs.