MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Road officials say the northbound lanes of Highway 431 at Flint River Bridge sustained significant damage after an 18-wheeler hit a guardrail, went down an embankment and caught fire.
Work will need to be done, keeping only one NB lane open for weeks to come.
Once the sun rose Friday, Highway 431 was lined with orange barrels — but the southbound lanes will be fully reopened soon.
Bridge assessment agents with the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) traveled to Madison County from Montgomery to assess the damage.
“Both [southbound] lanes will be able to open up after the Alabama Department of Environmental Management completes their clean process out there,” said ALDOT spokesman Seth Burkett.
After being exposed to extreme levels of heat from Thursday’s wreck, ALDOT crews tested the integrity of the concrete of the bridge.
“On the northbound side, the heat from the fire caused damage to the girders underneath the bridge,” said Burkett.
After daylong assessments, they plan to put out an emergency bid to get a the girders replaced. A plan should be drawn up in three weeks while work is not expected to begin for six weeks.