FLORENCE — Crews begin closing roadways to two Lauderdale County bridges Monday as demolition began to convert the bridges to concrete culverts, officials said.
“Crews were out putting up signs, and barricades to close the roads to the bridge as the construction crews started the demolition,” Lauderdale County Engineer Ken Allamel said.
He said portions of Lauderdale 49 in Anderson and Lauderdale 133 in the Wright community will be closed while work is under way.
In September, the County Commission approved a $684,198 contract with Glasgow Construction Co., of Guin, to replace both bridges.
County officials said the projects are being paid through a federal transportation grant and $136,839 in local matching money.
Allamel said the bridges are small, old and substandard. He said the bridge at Anderson had a 3-ton weight limit. There’s a 6-ton weight limit on the bridge on Lauderdale 133.
“Neither can be crossed by a school bus,” said Lauderdale County Commissioner Fay Parker, who is also the transportation director for the county school system. “When you have bridges like these that school buses have to detour around, it makes the routes longer for the students.”
Allamel said the work should take 3-4 months to complete.
“We had hoped to begin work earlier on the projects, but we had some delays with utility relocations,” Allamel said. “But those are all clear and everything is ready to go.”
Commissioner Larry Irons said the county is replacing old, substandard bridges.
“We have a lot, but these are two more that we can get off our list,” he said.
Allamel said for the next few months, traffic will be detoured around the bridges.
“It’s going to be a little inconvenient for the people who live in those areas for a while, but it in the end, it will be worthwhile,” Allamel said.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.