I-59-20 delay could create issues for commuters and first responders

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Workers with Granite Construction are doing all they can to reopen the interstate.

The roadway was shut down because temporary supports for a steel girder beam were not secure. The area remains closed to traffic.

"It's a parking lot. If you know back roads, you need to take them. That's it," Linda Bailey said.

WBRC FOX6 News contacted the Birmingham Fire Department about any impact. The department says there is about a two minute delay in response time.

Crews are looking for alternate routes.

The Birmingham Police Department says there is no impact because officers are positioned around the city but if there is an accident on the interstate near the junction, there might be a delay in responding.

Drivers off of the Finley exit agree the construction work is a problem.

"People getting off the freeway earlier are now coming down 31. So that is traffic that way. We still got people coming up Finley and it's a train that way. It is very, very hard," Carl Porter said.
A Michigan man on his way to Tuscaloosa agreed about the need to fix the roadway quickly.

"Our navigator is giving us different routes to get around it. We would like to get around if we can. It's something you don't like on a freeway," Terry Collins said.

The construction company, Granite Construction and ALDOT have apologized to drivers over the delay.

Granite Construction made the following statement:

Granite, in partnership with The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), is working to re-open I-59/20 southbound at I-65 by Wednesday, April 11. Crews are working day and night to safely address an issue related to a temporary support structure on the project. ALDOT has provided motorists with detours and alternate routes while work is being performed to re-open the interchange. More information is available at www.5920bridge.com.

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