LIMESTONE COUNTY Ala. — Construction will finally begin on a bridge in Limestone County that has been unusable since 2015. The bridge is near the site of the future Mazda-Toyota plant. Work to repair it was stalled after endangered snails were discovered in the creek below it.
Now, the bridge has been re-designed, and work is about to begin.
For the past three years, farmers and homeowners in this area have had to drive miles out of their way to get to where they needed to go. The bridge on Old Highway 20 at Mooresville Road, closed on Christmas Day in 2015 because the flooding washed away one of its footers.
“The only thing holding the bridge up right now, in that location, is just pressure on the joint,” explained Marc Massey, a Limestone County engineer.
Repairs have been delayed for multiple reasons, one of them the three types of endangered snails that were found in Limestone Creek, which runs under the bridge. Massey said it forced a redesign.
“We’re actually going to move the road so we can get that extra height of the road and build it up. All of that will be going on simultaneously while we’re building the bridge, so the bridge is going to actually be further downstream,” he said.
He said in total, the project costs about $3.2 million and most of that money will come from federal funds. The remaining money will be paid by Limestone County, the Alabama Department of Transportation, and the City of Huntsville.
“They’re paying for some of it cause of the proximity of the Huntsville city limits and the growth that they expect in the area,” Massey said.
Construction should begin before the end of February, he said it’s a long time coming.
“It’s going to impact the other businesses around and then just the traveling public to be able to make some of their commutes shorter,” Massey said.
The bridge will remain closed throughout construction, but no additional roads will close. Once construction begins, he expects the bridge to reopen around the end of October or November if the weather cooperates.