Lauderdale County forced to close heavily traveled bridge over Cypress Creek

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. – This week, the Lauderdale Road Department was forced to shut-down a major west to east artery. Years of wear and tear took their toil on Cypress Creek bridge along Lauderdale 16. Hundreds of cars used the bridge on a daily basis, including first responders.

Chief Deputy Richard Richey, Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office

“It’s just a quicker route to the Central community and around McGee town. It could take us about another 10 or 15 minutes to get to a call,” said Chief Deputy Richard Richey with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office

State and local bridge inspectors have closed the Cypress Creek bridge indefinitely. Road department officials said recent inspections were troubling.

Built in 1935, the bridge was to the point it wasn’t structurally sound. Which means emergency responders will have to take longer routes to the north or south to get to calls.

“(Residents) just need to be patient with us. I know it’s going to be some time before that bridge is replaced. But it’s just like Ghost Bridge. That was an inconvenience and we’ve all got used to it and we will all work through it,” Richey explained.

Officials with 911 said fire calls will be sent to the closest departments on either side of the bridge. No matter which fire district you leave in.

Lauderdale County Road Department officials said engineers are working on designs for a new bridge along Lauderdale 16 at Cypress Creek. They are unsure how long design and construction will take.