MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The Blake Bottom Road bridge was expected to be finished last fall, but nine months later there is still work to be done.
“We thought we could build it in four, five months but we learned pretty quick we were not going to meet schedule,” said Phil Vandiver, District 4 Commissioner.
Vandiver says construction on the Blake Bottom Road bridge has been a learning curve. He says the first delays came from the state.
It’s the first time the Alabama Department of Transportation has worked with a pre-cast bridge. It led to concerns over safety and delays in inspections.
Vandiver says a contractor also failed to hold up its end of the deal. Then Winter weather set construction even further behind.
But finally, the end is in sight. Crews only have to finish three major things:
“One is finishing the guard rails, they aren’t quite done. they should be put in first thing in the morning [on Thursday]. Once they’re through we have a contractor ready to come put in the last layer of asphault, and after that we have one more striping so people know where the lanes are,”said Vandiver.
In the mean time he reminds drivers to stay off the bridge. Drivers have been ticketed for moving the barriers themselves. There has even been an accident on the bridge.
“We had a piece of equipment sitting on the bridge and a driver came around the barricades and hit the piece of equipment. So it’s truly a safety issue.”
Vandiver asks for just a little bit more patience. There are only three days worth of work left to complete. But Vandiver is hesitant to put a date on when the road will open.”