ALDOT to take bids on U.S. 231 bridge construction, targets reopening this year

ALDOT targets reopening U.S. 2321 this year

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - The Alabama Department of Transportation will open bids next week on the second phase of the U.S. 231 landslide repair.

This next phase will consist of constructing twin bridges to span the unstable area on Brindlee Mountain, with the aim of restoring traffic to the closed section of highway between Morgan City and Lacey’s Spring by late 2020.

ALDOT officials say they’re is attaching a substantial financial incentive/disincentive to the project to encourage completion of the bridges in less than six months from start of construction.

Bids for the project will be opened May 8. Following an expedited award process, ALDOT will notify the winning contractor. Construction is anticipated to start June 1.

Reed Contracting, the contractor on the first phase of the repair, continues to excavate the slide area to remove the overburden on the slide and reduce the depth from surface to solid rock. So far, the contractor has removed 80 percent of the 220,000 cubic yards of earth and loose rock to be removed under the final design.

Excavation is expected to be complete before bridge work begins.

Custom-fabricated bridge materials, including girders, bearing pads and casings, preordered by ALDOT will begin arriving this month. Typically, all materials are procured by a contractor following award of the project. Instead, ALDOT is procuring these materials to advance the timetable for fabrication and reduce the risk of delays for materials during construction.

“ALDOT will continue to expedite all steps of this repair using all means available under the state of emergency declared by Gov. Kay Ivey. The closure of U.S. 231 followed severe pavement cracking caused by a substantial landslide triggered by heavy rainfall in February. Further investigation revealed a slide plane roughly 50 feet underground affecting about 1,000 feet of the bifurcated highway in each direction,” ALDOT spokesman Seth Burkett said in a news release.

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