CHILDERSBURG – The bridge replacement on U.S. 280 over the Norfolk Southern railroad is going to cost almost $10 million.
The bridge to be replaced is at the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 76. Bids for the project ranged from a low of $9,900,000 to a high of $10,931,809.
Ikaros, LLC, in Northport, Alabama, was the low bidder, according to state records.
The state’s original estimate of the project was $7.7 million to $9.4 million. Funds to do this are 80 percent federal and a 20-percent match from the state.
The project calls for grade, drain, base, pave, signal and striping for a length just over six-tenths of a mile.
The entire project must be completed in 330 working days. This is almost a two-year construction project, with a one-year equivalent of 180 working days, said Mayor Ken Wesson.
The new bridge will be constructed on the west side of U.S. 280 next to Talladega County Road 8 (typically known as the Fayetteville Road), Wesson said.
The mayor said the new bridge will be raised 4 to 6 feet higher than the old one.
“This will allow for new railroad cars that are higher or taller today than those in the past,” he said.
The four lanes of traffic used on U.S. 280 will remain open during the construction phase. Once the new bridge is constructed, it will be put into service, Wesson explained, and the old bridge will be removed two lanes at a time.
The mayor said officials with the Alabama Department of Transportation met with the city about the project, sharing the plan.
“They told us all property necessary to move forward with the bridge replacement has been acquired,” he said.
Wesson said he is glad the project is going to be starting soon. Replacing the bridge, he said, is a matter of safety and the age of the bridge.
“It is going to make traffic safer, and with new turns on to Alabama 76 into Childersburg, it is expected to improve traffic flow,” the mayor said.
Construction could begin in late spring or early summer.