O'Neal Bridge rehab construction nears completion - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

O'Neal Bridge rehab construction nears completion

O'Neal Bridge (Source: WAFF) O'Neal Bridge (Source: WAFF)
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

Longtime work on a busy bridge in the Shoals is coming to an end. After two years, construction crews on O'Neal Bridge are wrapping up the finishing touches on the rehab project.

"With this project we could extend the useful lifespan of the bridge by 30 to 40 years,” said North Region Alabama Department  of Transportation public information officer Seth Burkett. “Obviously the cost of a rehabilitation project is a fraction of what a new bridge would cost."

The traffic on the iconic bridge stretching over the Tennessee River has been moving even slower as crews remove the cement barriers one by one to prepare for the cleanup process.

"There will be cones or barriers in place to keep drivers restricted to one lane in each direction for that cleanup duration process until they can get stripping down on the bridge," Burkett said.

Drivers might breathe a sigh of relief as they see the end of construction in sight for the 78-year-old bridge.

"There is still some drainage work going on underneath the bridge and that will be going on over the next week or so," Burkett said.

ALDOT expects to have all four lanes open by Friday, but next week there will be some temporary lane closures for a few hours as crews do last-minute work on the super structure.

ALDOT said the O'Neal Bridge rehab project took $13.4 million to complete.

Over the years, workers have put in new lighting, fixed drainage problems and added new guardrails.

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