This is something that has needed to be done for a long time now! The only problem is it’s going to effect around 30,000-35,000 vehicles a day. The eastbound lanes of Interstate 20 between the I-59 interchange and the I-459 interchange will close on Monday April 8th. All through traffic will take I-459 around Birmingham. Local traffic will continue on I-59 north and then take I-459 south to connect to I-20. The closure is part of the Alabama Department of Transportation‘s $38.5 million I-20 refurbishing project. Once the east bound lanes are done, the westbound lanes will close. The work is expected to take three months on each side to complete. Here is a detour map from ALDOT.
So what do I think about this? Well I do think this is badly needed! The road is very bumpy, and you can barely see the road paint lines during the night. I hope ALDOT has plans to fix all the Interstate lights. Seriously, seeing rows of dark lights is an embarrassment.
This is not the only project going on. Interstate 459 between U.S. 280 and Grants Mill Road will be resurfaced and re-striped in Birmingham and Mountain Brook for $8.6 million. Work will begin this Spring and end around Labor Day Weekend. Also the granddaddy of them all; ALDOT has plans to replace the Interstate 20/59 bridges through downtown Birmingham. One whole side will be shut down to replace the bridges. This will create traffic chaos!
I have one BIG concern about the upcoming I-20 repaving project. When you exit I-459 to merge onto I-20 East. You have to merge into one lane to get on the highway. When you have around 30,000 cars trying to merge into one lane, this is going to cause a problem! ALDOT needs to create TWO lanes to merge onto I-20 eastbound. To be honest, this needed to be done a long time ago. I can just imagine the traffic crash reports on TV and Twitter because ALDOT was not smart enough to add another lane. Another lane needs to be added!
While this stretch is closed, maybe ALDOT will take a look at the interstate lights and this sign at the I-459 interchange. There are not two lanes exclusively exiting the highway.
- Alabama Legislature resolutions ask ALDOT to modify U.S. 280 plans (al.com)
- Trussville officials urge residents to prepare for April 8 Interstate 20 East closure (al.com)
- The Interstate 65 Lacon Mountain Nightmare (geekalabama.com)
- Roadscapes Wednesday: Classic Atlanta and Birmingham Road Scenes (geekalabama.com)
- ALDOT: Corridor X on target for completion in late 2014 (gallery) (al.com)