MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. — The bridges that span over a washed-out portion of Highway 231 on Brindlee Mountain are almost finished, the Alabama Department of Transportation said Wednesday.
Concrete for the surfaces of both bridges is done, and the contractor now has to pour concrete for the bridge rails, ALDOT said. Work has also begun on the asphalt that will connect the bridges to the existing road.
The completion of the roadway will mean an end to a long detour commuters have been navigating on a daily basis since February.
“Having it fixed is going to be a wonderful thing,” said local businessman Butch Ledlow. “We have about 50 who work down the road here and about 40 of them live in Huntsville and they have to either go around or work from home.”
The $14.6 million project was necessary after heavy rains caused a landslide that left huge cracks in the road. To solve the problem, ALDOT had contractors clear out the loose soil on the mountainside and build the two 1,000-foot bridges to span the area.
“What really makes this bridge kind of stand out is that it has 32 of these 9 and a half foot diameter drilled shafts which is where they bore down into the solid rock and that’s actually underneath the land slide,” said ALDOT spokesperson Seth Burkett.
ALDOT said it expects the highway to be open within the next few weeks. The contractor’s deadline is Dec. 2, but there are incentives in place for the project to be completed sooner.