DOT  looks to replace bridge

Published 1:00 am Thursday, May 6, 2010

Yellow River’s Hwy. 55 bridge could be replaced in 2012, if funding comes through.

A new Yellow River bridge on Alabama 55 could soon be a reality – if the state receives federal highway dollars, state department of transportation officials confirmed Tuesday.
Rebecca-Leigh White, Alabama Department of Transportation spokesperson, said the project, which would construct a new bridge in the North Creek community “lightly to the west” of the current bridge, is in its “very initial stages.”
White said in April, impacted landowners were notified of ALDOT’s plan. Since then, public notice has been given of the project.
“What we are doing now is advertising for public input on the project,” White said. “The design of the bridge is incomplete, and this project can only be completed if funding is received from the federal highway bill.
“This project will not become a reality unless we get funding,” she said. “That’s why it’s not scheduled in the very near future because there are a lot of steps and phases we have to go through before we get ready to send out bids.”
White said the bridge is classified as of “minor impact,” meaning that its replacement is not an emergency.
She said if funded, the next step would be to get environmental clearance for the project, followed by creating a final design plan, acquiring any rights-of-way and setting a tentative construction target date. Finally, bids would be let and awarded before construction could begin.
White said once construction is under way, the existing structure will be utilized until the project’s completion.
“If the federal highway bill comes through, we could see construction at the end of 2012,” she said. “But there are a lot of processes to go through, and then, they’re all contingent upon funding.”
Until then, local residents are urged to give their comments on the project – specifically if they have knowledge of any potentially hazardous materials, abandoned storage tanks and other issues in that area.
Residents can call 334-670-2452 to set up a meeting or to request a comment form. Comments can also be mailed to ALDOT 7th Division, Location Section, Yellow River Bridge Repl., P. O. Box 647, Troy, AL 36081.