I-65 River Bridge Project Halfway Done; Contractor Asks for More Time
MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – There’s good news and, possibly, bad news about the Interstate 65 construction zone over the Tennessee River in Morgan County.
The good news is the project is halfway done now. The bad news is the contractor wants more time.
That’s the word from the State Department of Transportation about the project, which started July 16th.
Monday, workers opened the newly re-surfaced northbound lanes, but they’re still working on the southbound lanes.
It’s a smooth ride northbound. Both lanes have been cleaned up, re-surfaced, re-striped and re-opened to traffic.
But crews still have more work to do.
“The contractor has asked and requested for seven additional working days due to the different types of weather problems they have incurred, including rain and heat,” said Rebecca Leigh-White, spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Transportation.
She said a decision has not been made on whether or not to grant that request.
In the meantime, workers will continue doing what they can on days when it’s not raining or sizzling.
“When that bridge deck surface reaches 125 degrees or more, when it’s very hot like that, you can’t lay the polymer down,” said Leigh-White.
The $6.8 million project has caused congestion, but also opportunity for smaller cities.
For example, for the remainder of the work on the southbound lanes, ALDOT is encouraging drivers to take Exit 354 to Highway 31, leading to Athens.
The project was a 20-working day deal, but Leigh-White says there’s no hard deadline, due to ever-changing weather conditions.
“It’s almost impossible to pinpoint an exact date, but best case scenario, if the weather cooperates, we hope we can be completed sometime in the near future,” said Leigh-White.
She added some portions of the southbound lanes have been treated and coated.
Workers have closed down the inside lane to traffic.
Alabama State Troopers are enforcing the 50 mile per hour speed limit through the area.
ALDOT is considering the contractor’s request for more time, but hasn’t announced a decision.