State says bridge project will start MondayPublished 10:03pm Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The Alabama Department of Transportation announced they would shut down traffic across the bridge on Dallas Avenue Monday.
They released a statement Tuesday, saying the construction project to replace the bridge on Alabama Highway 22 over Valley Creek would begin Monday, July 15 — weather permitting.
“During the bridge replacement project, the portion of State Route 22 adjacent to the bridge will be closed to all traffic,” the statement said. “Parkman Avenue (east of bridge) and Marina Drive (west of bridge) will have access to State Route 22 during the length of the project. Posted detour routes are State Route 219 and U.S. Highway 80.”
The bridge was built in 1927 and ALDOT hopes to complete the replacement by May 2014, 10 months from the start date.
Sgt. Roy Nix, traffic division commander for the Selma Police Department, said he was unaware of the ALDOT announcement of a Monday start date, but said the police department would be patrolling the area and helping out where needed.
“We have those one way streets set up to detour traffic I’m pretty sure the state will come and put in road close signs,” Nix said. “I will be out patrolling the area and if we need traffic assistance I will get whatever is needed to come in to handle it until everyone gets used to it.”
He said he wants to urge all those driving across town from west to east, or back, to plan alternative routes and be careful.
“Just be careful go ahead and plan ahead for taking a different route to work and everything,” Nix said. “If you are on the west side, go on Highland Avenue and through the north end or go on Cahaba Road and J.L. Chestnut — but it’s going to be a work in progress really.”
Selma Mayor George Evans said he urged all residents to practice patience while traveling the new routes next week. He said in a Tuesday city council meeting the city would see ALDOT putting up more detour sign in the coming week and the project is something that has to be done.
“People will still be able to go to Church Street and Tremont Street and anywhere they need to go,” Evans said. “I really wish they would have delayed this but I have talked with them on numerous occasions and the project is going to have to go through. They are going to do this regardless. The bridge will be out but we just have to use alternative routes.
Evans said the SPD would patrol the two one-way streets, Union Street and King Street, to enforce the new one-way policy.
Ward 3 Councilman Greg Bjelke said he asks all residents to take precaution on the project an detour routes in his ward.
“I just ask everyone to be patient and compassionate,” Bjelke said. “ALDOT has to do what they have to do and we will see more detour signs going up this week.”