MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - The Highway 231 project was anticipated to take a year. Wednesday, leaders updated that timeline with a new target date of Dec. 2, 2020.
Bids for the project will be accepted Thursday, May 8. By law, the lowest bidder will be awarded the contract.
The busy highway has been closed since mid-February after a landslide.
Significant rainfall weakened the soil beneath the pavement and made it prone to slides. In fact, the 75-year-old road was built with the possibility of landslides.
In an effort to prevent this from happening again, Curtis Vincent, north region engineer for ALDOT, explained building two bridges would be the viable option.
“Right now, they are in the final stages of excavation in phase one of the project," explained Seth Burkett with ALDOT. Phase two begins the construction of the bridges.
During a community meeting in March 2020, Vincent explained bridges are the best option because they come with the least impact to the mountain, bring the highest value of safety, can be built faster and are less expensive. There will be no blasting on the mountain.
ALDOT has set up some incentives to move the project along faster. If the contractor finishes 60-days before Dec. 2, they could earn up to nearly $2.5 million. The department has even purchased some materials to save time and money.
“We put everything in place to try to get this contractor to move forward with this and complete the project as quickly as possible," said Burkett.
Work will begin June 1. They hope to have it ready for drivers Dec 2.