Primary demolition over as work begins on new 59/20 bridges

Primary demolition over as work begins on new 59/20 bridges
New 59/20 bridge construction begins. (Source: WBRC Staff)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Monday was a big day for work on the 59/20 bridges in downtown Birmingham. “The contractor set the very first segment of 2,316 that must be set to complete the bridge,” said DeJarvis Leonard, ALDOT Regional Engineer.

All the work on the demolition of the old 59/20 bridges is over. Construction is now underway on building the new bridges. The precast segments are 12 feet in length and 42 feet wide. A thousand have been precast so far and another thousand have to be fit somewhere else and brought downtown.

“The contractor is actually ahead of schedule. You know we demo the bridges. The demolition took less than two months - that was predicted. So the contractor is doing an excellent job to stay on schedule,” Leonard said.

By working on forming precast segments off site, it will save the contractor time.

Drivers can expect to see more road closures as the year goes on for construction. “It’s been a hazard. Backed up a lot. Even close to my house. It’s hard to get out of the parking lot,” said Rodney Harris.

The precast work could face possible delays. So far, the weather has not slowed down the work.

Leonard said the contractor has every intention of finishing the 14 month contract two months early which would be in January. “I think the contractor wants to make that happen. That is the incentive we have talked about $250,000 a day,” Leonard said.

The contractor, Johnson Brothers, can earn up to $15 million if the project is finished in January and not March of 2020.

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