BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) – The shift is underway on Interstate 65, just south of the Wilson Bridge, also known as the Dolly Parton Bridge.
Alabama Department of Transportation officials re-routed northbound traffic to one lane of the southbound span.
That’s so repairs could be made to northbound bridge, which was damaged by a fire in a fatal traffic accident last month.
The switch over was supposed to happen about 9 a.m. Friday, June 20 but the move was delayed almost an hour.
ALDOT Engineer Matt Ericksen said, “Right before we were getting ready to shift, we had a mini-van break down on the southbound bridge, so, for the safety of the traveling public and workers we had to get that vehicle removed off the southbound bridge before we did the traffic shift. This is something that we’ll probably experience.”
The repair work to the bridge is expected to take about a month.
According to ALDOT, a concrete barrier rail has been placed to separate the two lanes on the existing southbound bridge to accommodate one lane of traffic in each direction.
Northbound traffic is now shifting to the southbound bridge using a crossover just south of the bridge.
Northbound traffic merges back onto the existing northbound lanes using a crossover before the SR-225 exit, north of the bridge.
The 25-day repair contract begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 21.
The northbound bridge will be closed to traffic throughout the repair process.
The scope of work for repairs includes replacing 250 feet of bridge deck and heat straightening approximately 50 feet of the steel girder that was damaged in a fire caused by a traffic accident on May 22.
The contract was awarded to McInnis Construction, LLC, after ALDOT verified its $2.3 million bid was the lowest that met project requirements.
The repair schedule, means, and method will be under the direction of the contractor.
The speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph on the existing southbound bridge.
In addition, the lane widths are reduced so loads wider than 12 feet will need to take an alternate route.