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ALDOT plans local bridge projects

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Alabama Department of Transportation has three projects planned for this year to raise bridges over Interstate 65.

“All this is to give us more vertical clearance between the Interstate and the bridge,” David Kemp of ALDOT said.

He said the project will help tall oversized loads be able to travel on the Interstate, rather than having to take alternate routes.

The department likes to have a clearance from the Interstate of 17 vertical feet. This is not the case with the bridges on County Road 59, County Road 43 and State Route 145 (Lay Dam Road). Kemp said County Road 59 and County Road 43 will likely be closed for a portion of the project. State Route 145 will remain open during the project because it is an access point from the Interstate.

The project will be put out for bid on Sept. 25. The department will set a day for opening the bids and choose the lowest and best bid. Kemp said usually the lowest bid is chosen, but there are rare cases where the lowest bid might not meet quality standards.

Work on the projects would probably begin two months after that.

The projects are anticipated to cost about $2.5 million, and will be paid for through federal (90%) and state (10%) funding.

An anticipated project to widen the bridge at Exit 205 this year will likely be pushed to a later date. It does not appear on the ALDOT tentative list of projects for Aug. 28, 2020 to Feb. 26, 2021. However, this list is subject to change, and the project could be added.