Delay expected in I-20/59 bridge replacement

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The actual work to bring down the 20-59 interstate bridges in Birmingham may face a delay.

It's another work day for Granite Construction on the bridge replacement project in downtown Birmingham. For drivers, it's another day of headaches.

"Really kind of bad because you always have got a roadblock, got a detour and getting downtown is really hectic right now," Johnny McDonald said.

Some of the headaches will go away with the opening of the 11th Avenue ramp and the soon to be open 17th street ramp on midnight Friday which is the contract deadline.

There is no set date just yet for work to begin bringing down the 20-59 bridges,

"October one was the earliest dates the contractor could close those and with the opening of the new ramps later than we anticipated within phase two," DeJarvis Leonard, Regional Engineer ALDOT said.

This week will end phase two and work will concentrate on bringing down those bridges. First, ALDOT and the contractor want to make sure the ramps are working properly before the bridges come down.

"The purpose of that is to make sure we have them functioning with the existing roadway. We will have a better idea of how it will function with the new roadway once it's completed," Leonard said.

Late this year or early next year is the new target for bringing down the 20-59 bridges. Some drivers not happy with any delay.

"No that is going to be a bad thing. They need to go on and through with it. " McDonald said.

Once the work starts on the bridge replacement project, the contractor will have 14 months. Granite will face a $250,000 a day incentive or penalty for each day they delay the work or complete it early.

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