Barring unforeseen delays, the southbound lanes of Ross Clark Circle near Bauman Drive and Fortner Street will be closed temporarily while workers perform an innovative “bridge slide” over a culvert near Eye Center South.
Construction has been ongoing for several months between Fortner and Bauman to add lanes and replace a bridge over a culvert. Workers have been constructing the new bridge off to the side of the road. They are expected to slide the new bridge into the southbound lanes over the culvert during the week of Nov. 17-24. That means southbound traffic will be detoured beginning Nov. 17. Normal traffic will resume on or before Nov. 24. The same bridge slide technique will occur on the northbound side after the first of the year.
Jon Gray of Strategy PR, which has been contracted to assist with public communication on the project, said the bridge slide technique is being used for the first time in Alabama and its primary goal is to keep traffic diversion to a minimum.
“With the bridge slide, you are looking at diverting traffic off that part of the circle for a week or less soon and then a week or less after the first of the year for the other side,” Gray said. “Had we constructed this bridge in the traditional way, that part of the circle would have been closed for a much longer period of time.”
About 38,000 cars travel the affected area every 24 hours. Contractors said constructing a bridge conventionally would have resulted in a six- to nine-month detour off the circle.
Web cams have been placed on both sides of the bridge construction and are available for viewing at dothanbridge.com. A survey is available at the website to collect public feedback.
“We really do want to hear from the public on this,” Gray said. “We want to know what people think about the project.”
Gray said detour details and more information will be announced closer to the detour date.
Information on the project can be obtained at dothanbridge.com, on Facebook at DothanBridge and on Twitter @DothanBridge.