ALDOT contracted with Birmingham-based Dunn Construction to complete the project, which encompasses a 3.3-mile stretch from the intersections of Country Club Drive to County Road 511, she said.
The job is scheduled for 50 working days, though weather delays are anticipated, fourth division engineer DeJarvis Leonard said.
“This project hinges on how the weather holds up between now and when it turns cold and wet,” Leonard said. “We purposefully sequenced the job so it would start outside of downtown just in case the weather does turn bad then that area will not be totally disrupted.”
Work began on the north end of the city and will continue in short sections down Broadway Avenue. Each section will be completed before moving to the next.
“Our plan is to finish the portion through Jack’s, and then proceed to another short section to avoid disruption,” Leonard said. “They will finish something instead of having it in disarray all along. Since we are performing the work in stages, you will see one-lane closures. Especially when we get downtown, you’ll see more traffic delays, because its only one lane, where we are working on a five-lane section right now. We may even have to stop traffic to allow some work to be done.”
After Thanksgiving is when weather most often causes project delays, since asphalt will not set in certain temperature conditions, Leonard said. If it does become too cold, work will pick back up in the spring.
“Our contractor is very aggressively pursuing this job, and we’re glad to see that,” Leonard said. “We ask that everybody be patient as we try to create a better traveling road for the public.”
In addition to resurfacing the highway, some sidewalks will be brought up to standard according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, White said. This work will include adding handicap accessibility in areas where there is not any, particularly south of Fort Williams Street.
Mayor Doug Murphree said he is glad to see maintenance on the high-traffic highway, and the city has some road work in the works as well.
“We’ve had a lot of calls about the condition of Broadway, so I’m very happy ALDOT is doing this,” he said. “I hope we can do some more paving, and I still want to get some help with it, but this is a start and a big help downtown and to the whole city.”
The city is getting price estimates to re-stripe some roads using money remaining from its $1 million paving project last year, he said.
“We still have $50,000 or $60,000 that was allocated to the last paving project that we didn’t spend, so we’re hoping to use some of that to stripe some roads that really need it, like Coaling Road,” Murphree said.
ALDOT’s current project is simple maintenance compared to its other work on Alabama 21 this summer. The department spent $9.4 million on emergency repairs to fill two massive sinkholes on Alabama 21 South.
Contact Emily McLain at email@example.com.