Officials report few traffic problems as 10-month bridge project beginsPublished 9:20pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Selma officials said the transition this week to detour routes around the bridge closure on Dallas Avenue has been so far, so good.
The Dallas Avenue bridge over Valley Creek is already being ripped up and removed in some parts and was officially closed Monday afternoon by the Alabama Department of Transportation.
Concerns grew prior to the bridge closure from residents about how the closure and detour routes would affect traffic, but Selma Chief of Police William Riley said no dangerous incidents have occurred so far.
“We haven’t had any major calls in traffic backup yet,” Riley said of the detour route traffic on J.L. Chestnut Boulevard and Hooper Drive. He said he believes the traffic was worse there when the bridge first closed Monday, but slowly drivers are going elsewhere, alleviating the traffic.
“What is happening is not everybody is taking J.L. Chestnut [Boulevard] to go around the bridge. They are realizing there are other ways to get to where you want to go,” Riley said.
I just went today to take a look and the traffic was doing fine and I think when the bridge first closed, people rushed [to J.L. Chestnut Boulevard] but I think slowly you see people finding alternate routes.”
Sgt. Roy Nix who is over the traffic department for the SPD said he had no major issues to report as well, but did say there have been a number of complaints about the one-way streets.
“We are getting complaints after complaints of people going the wrong way on King Street,” Nix said about one of two new one-way streets — King Street and Union Street that will help direct traffic around the bridge. “Everybody is going up the wrong way on King Street. It is now a one-way street going south from J.L. Chestnut [Boulevard] to Dallas Avenue.”
Riley said officers are patrolling the one-way streets to make sure people know the right direction, but it will be enforced and drivers will be ticketed.
“We had two officers out there and we are getting out there, giving drivers warnings and telling them to follow the signage,” Riley said.