Public hearing scheduled for 20/59 proposal

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The Alabama Department of Transportation says bridges running through Downtown Birmingham are falling apart.

ALDOT has proposed a plan to rebuild the bridges. Which means, the way you get around will change.

“The bridges have just, reached the end of their useful life, their starting to fall apart,” said  ALDOT Director John Cooper.

Cooper says it won’t be long before the agency becomes concerned that the bridges are unsafe.

During a presentation to the Birmingham City Council, Cooper displayed images of holes ALDOT had to repair on Interstate 20/59 in July 2012 and November 2013.

Phase one of the plan would involve building ramps to connect drivers to other parts of I-20/59 and I-65.

ALDOT hopes to begin phase one of the project in the third quarter of 2014. Work to repair the interstate would begin in 2015 and work to replace the 20/59 bridges would start in 2016, shutting down the bridges for 12 to 18 months.

“Some of that will involve the Caraway to Finley route, some of it may involved I-65, obviously a huge amount of traffic will go around on 459,” said Cooper.

A public hearing regarding the proposal is set for January 28th at 4:00 p.m. at St. James Missionary Baptist Church.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-CBS42

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