GULF SHORES — The construction on a new bridge over the Intercoastal Waterway in Baldwin County is well underway, with temporary structures expected to go up any day.
Ike Scott of Scott Bridge Company said the roadway leading up to the bridge had been cleared on the north side of the canal from Baldwin County Road 4.
"Our roadway subcontractor started working around the first of the year, but of course, we have had a lot of rain because it's wintertime," Scott said.
Scott said the roadway had been cleared about a mile and a half to the bank of the canal.
"The building of the road itself was necessary to get us to where the bridge will be," he added.
Scott Bridge Company has built many bridges across Alabama, including both of the new steel bridges in Decatur and the twin bridges in Guntersville that were built similarly to the new bridge.
"It's all structural steel, so there will be three spans," Scott explained. "The span over the canal is about 375 feet, but then you have to balance it out so there will be two back spans, and the two back spans are about 240 or 250 feet each."
Scott said a current lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), filed by toll bridge company Baldwin County Bridge Company, has not held up construction at the site.
SEE ALSO: Scott Bridge Company removed from lawsuit against ALDOT in Baldwin County bridge controversy; Judge says ALDOT spokesman disclosed confidential material to media
"We are under contract, we are under obligation, and the clock is running," said Scott. "We have a time certain to get this bridge finished and opened to traffic, and we are absolutely full steam ahead, working as quickly as the rain will let us. We're making really good progress, especially the last couple of weeks."
The bridge is expected to relieve traffic to the beach, and Scott said he hopes it also helps save lives during hurricane emergencies.
"As it is right now, there are only two ways off of that island, and one of them is [Alabama Highway] 59, which is not in great shape. It's an old bridge," said Scott. "Then you've got the Wharf bridge, which with how steep it is and how curvy it is, cars still can't go fast, and plus you've got to travel Canal Road, then you've got to turn north. So, we've literally been needing a third bridge off that island for 20 years."
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