RIVERSIDE -- The Riverside Bridge may not be closing after all, despite signs continuing to say otherwise.
The bridge will not be closing next week, said ALDOT spokesperson Linda Crockett on Thursday afternoon.
According to Crockett, ALDOT will soon begin repair work on the bridge that is set to last for a 70-day period, but it will not be shut down until a later date. When it is shut down, it should only be for around five days, Crockett said.
Riverside Mayor Rusty Jessup said Friday the city had not always thought this would be the case.
“We understood it to be 70 days or even longer,” Jessup said.
Jessup said the city was originally told work resurfacing the bridge would require only a five-day bridge closure. He said the city was then informed it may be closed for the entire work period as the state addresses structural issues.
When asked about Crockett’s report, Jessup said he was appreciative of the news.
“This is great news,” he said. “I appreciate ALDOT’s response to public outcry.”
Signs are still posted on either side of the bridge saying the bridge will be closed Jan. 6. Crockett said this was not the case as work should begin Jan. 9, with any bridge closure taking place later.
Lincoln Mayor Lew Watson also feels the bridge being closed for a shorter time will be better for the cities.
“It’s bad to have a bridge closed,” he said, “but five days is a lot better than the period previously discussed.”
Watson said he still felt like the five-day closure could cause traffic issues for Lincoln and Riverside.
“Five days could still be horrendous,” he said, adding all it takes is one accident on Interstate 20 to cause massive traffic issues.
Watson said that last year, there were often traffic issues on I-20 due to lane closures and accidents.
The Riverside Bridge stands as one of only five crossings that span Logan Martin Lake. It and the I-20 bridge are the only two that are a direct route between the cities of Lincoln and Riverside. They are also the only bridges that allow for a direct route to Pell City and the Birmingham Metro area from Lincoln.
The only other route if these two bridges were to both be closed would require what Jessup describes as a “30-mile detour” to Stemley Bridge on Alabama 34.
The Riverside Bridge was originally built in 1930.