Those living in neighborhoods near Westgate Parkway, Murphy Mill Road and Montgomery Highway can resume normal driving patterns Tuesday afternoon after the city fully opens Brookside Drive.
City officials closed Brookside Drive between Pebble Creek Lane and Ridgewood Drive in mid-April to initiate a bridge replacement project. Tests revealed the bridge needed to be upgraded because of deterioration, and it was also too narrow for today’s traffic needs.
G.W. Norrell Contracting Company crews replaced the bridge in about four months, the amount of time city leaders projected it would need. Initiating the project took much longer, though, as acquiring the necessary right-of-way needed for the larger bridge and some design aspects required extensive efforts, said Charles Metzger, Dothan Public Works director.
To give an idea of how long the process took, state funds available from the 2013 Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program paid for about 73 percent, or about $635,000 of the $875,000 in total costs, of the project. Preliminary tasks took about two years to complete.
City crews have placed temporary striping in place in order to open the bridge Tuesday following a state inspection, Metzger said. In mid-September, the contractor will install more permanent marks.
The opening of Brookside Drive should improve traffic conditions for local residents who use Brookside Drive to cross between Murphy Mill Road and Westgate Parkway. Additionally the opening will aid school bus drivers, Metzger said.
For the near future, the city does not anticipate spending money on bridge projects. The next project, perhaps a few years away, will likely be the widening of a bridge on North Brannon Stand Road, Metzger said.