Contractor selected for U.S. 231 bridge construction

Contractor selected for U.S. 231 bridge construction

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - The Alabama Department of Transportation has selected the company to address landslide damage on a section of U.S. 231.

After five bids were submitted, Brasfield & Gorrie of Birmingham was awarded a $14.6 million contract to construct twin bridges spanning the unstable area of the mountainside between Morgan City and Lacey’s Spring.

Construction will begin June 1, though the contractor may begin preparatory work in mid-May.

Each bridge will be about 1,000 feet long and 44 feet wide, accommodating two 12-foot lanes with 10-foot shoulders. Each will be constructed atop 16 9.5-foot-wide drilled shafts socketed in solid rock beneath the landslide.

ALDOT’s goal is for Brasfield & Gorrie to complete bridge construction and fully reopen the closed section of highway to traffic before Dec. 2, within six months of construction beginning.

ALDOT has attached a nearly $2.5 million total incentive for early completion of the project. The contractor will be eligible to receive a payment of $50,000 for every day the project is complete prior to Dec. 2, up to a maximum of 30 days, and a payment of $33,000 for every day the project is complete prior to Nov. 2, up to a maximum of 30 days.

There is also a substantial disincentive for late completion - a deduction of $33,000 per day the project is not complete after Dec. 2, increasing to a deduction of $50,000 per day the project is not complete after Jan. 1, 2021.

The first phase of the repair, removing the overburden from the slide and reducing the depth from surface to solid rock, in order to prepare the site for bridge construction, is near completion. ALDOT says Reed Contracting has excavated about 95 percent of the 220,000 cubic yards of earth and loose rock to be removed under the final repair design.

ALDOT is procuring in advance more than $4 million in custom-fabricated bridge materials, including girders, bearing pads and casings, to tighten the timeline by reducing the risk of delays for material fabrication during construction.

The closure of U.S. 231 followed severe damage caused by a substantial landslide on Brindlee Mountain 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.

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