I-59/20 Frequently Asked Questions
Q / Why is there a need for a new bridge system along I-59/20?
A / The bridges along I-59/20 and portions of I-65 through Birmingham’s Central Business District (CBD) were constructed over 45 years ago and were originally designed to accommodate 80,000 vehicles per day. Today, this stretch of Interstate has the highest rate of traffic flow in Alabama, carrying over twice the number of vehicles than it was intended to accommodate. By 2035, this number is expected to increase to over 225,000 vehicles per day. Consequently, this vital infrastructure is functionally obsolete, and must be replaced in the interest of public safety and to ease the flow of commerce and traffic through Birmingham’s CBD.
Q / Were other construction options and routes considered?
A / Yes. Please click here to go to that section
Q / When will construction take place?
A / Work on Phase I began in September 2015 and was completed in the Fall of 2016. Much of that work involved the widening of some roads and elevating of some bridges in the interchange of I-59/20 with I-65. Phase II, which involves redesigning and constructing the new interchange ramps at I-65, should be completed by late 2018. Work on Phase III will involve the replacement of bridges at the interchange between I-20/59 and Red Mountain Expressway, or U.S. 31 and U.S. 280. It will also involve the replacement of the bridges that carry I-20/59 through downtown. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the 2020 calendar year.
Q / What type of bridge will this be?
A / ALDOT is using a segmental bridge design for the new bridges downtown. This allows for faster construction time, and reduces noise and vibrations associated with the traffic flow once completed.
Q / How much will it cost?
A / The overall project is expected to have a total cost in excess of $700 million.
Q / Who is funding this project?
A / This project is being paid for through a combination of funds from ALDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Q / What will be the impact on existing traffic flow?
A / ALDOT will work with the selected contractors to minimize inconvenience to motorists throughout the life of this project.
Q / How do I find out about closures, detours, and traffic delays?
A / ALDOT will post all information about closings, detours or anticipated traffic delays on this website. We will also share this information regularly with local media, and area officials. Follow us on Twitter @5920bridge and Facebook for more updates.
Q / Where can I direct my questions/concerns about the project?
A / Please direct any questions, media inquiries or concerns to Linda Crockett, Public Information Officer for ALDOT’s East Central Region at 205-327-4973.