Bridge project to close Hwy. 55

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2014

A $1.84 million bridge replacement in Lockhart may cause some travelers to take an alternate route.

The Alabama Department of Transportation this week announced Jackson Pond bridge on Hwy. 55 will be closed for replacement effective Nov. 10.

The Murphree Bridge Corp., will begin work on the removal and replacement, grade, drain, base and pavement of the new bridge on that date.

“We have an official detour that will be routed around state roads,” ALDOT District Manager Bill Wofford said. “The official detour north will go from Florala up Hwy. 331 to Opp, and across Hwy. 84 to Andalusia. And it would be the opposite way around when going south.”

The bridge will be completely removed and Wofford said it would probably take six months for completion.

The contract price for the project is estimated for $1.84 million with 80 percent of that money coming from the federal budget and 20 percent coming from the state.

The detour will disrupt through traffic, but Wofford said local motorists will still be able to bypass the construction.

This construction also affects the transportation of students to schools in Florala.

“I imagine the school buses take a lot of city streets and county roads,” Wofford said. “Certainly they’ll find their way around.”

Transportation Supervisor for Covington County Schools Ricky Messick said he had not been notified of the road closing, but will prepare to work with school bus routes and make sure children get to school without problems.

“All we can do is prepare,” Messick said. “We’ll look at the stops that we have, and we’ll make adjustments according to the construction.

“Usually when we do this, we try to keep the change as close to the time children are normally picked up and dropped off as possible,” he said.

Messick said he plans to keep the transition as smooth for the school and children as possible, especially for the children.