Bridge, streets to close as ‘Selma’ filming begins

Published 9:23 am Saturday, June 21, 2014

Motorists may want to avoid downtown Selma Monday through Thursday, as filming continues for the major motion picture ‘Selma’ kicks off.

The Edmund Pettus Bridge and several downtown streets will be closed nearly all day Monday. Portions of Water Avenue, Broad Street and the Edmund Pettus Bridge will remain closed for the majority of each day through Thursday.

Selma Mayor George Evans requested patience as filming continues.

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“If we got through a bridge being closed for seven months, I hope we can get through a few days,” Evans said referring to the bridge replacement project that was recently completed on Dallas Avenue. “I know it’s an inconvenience, but I hope that the public can work with us and be patient.”

The Edmund Pettus Bridge will officially close at 5 a.m. Monday and remain closed until 9 p.m., according to a release from the Alabama Department of Transportation. Other Monday street closures include a patch of road in front of Washington Street Supermarket, Water Avenue from Lauderdale Street to Martin Luther King Street and Broad Street from the bridge to Selma Avenue, said Lt. John Brock, who is in charge of the Selma Police Department’s security detail for the movie.

“People need to take the bypass and avoid downtown,” Brock said. “From what I understand, Monday is going to be the main filming day.”

Streets and the bridge are scheduled to reopen around 9 p.m. Monday.

Brock said stoplights would be removed for filming and replaced with portable stop signs, making the intersection of Water Avenue and Broad Street a four-way stop.

On Tuesday through Thursday, the bridge will remain closed from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. Brock said Water Avenue would also be closed from Lauderdale Street to Franklin Street and Broad Street would be closed to Selma Avenue.

Brock said movie personnel were scheduled to contact any businesses affected by the street closures.

Ruth Lee, who runs the Vineyard Italian Restaurant, located on Water Avenue in the Harmony Club Building, said she wasn’t contacted, but isn’t overly concerned about the potential impact on business.

“I’m still planning to be open,” she said. “They won’t be in my way at all.”

Brock said any questions about street closures should be directed to the Selma Police Department.