Early morning traffic problems on I-459 South after electronic s - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Early morning traffic problems on I-459 South after electronic sign hit by truck lands on roadway

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photo courtesy of Jeff Wyatt photo courtesy of Jeff Wyatt
Cahaba -

A traffic nightmare at the height of the morning rush-hour. One of AL-DOT's digital message signs came crashing-down on Interstate 459 south.

A dump truck with its bucket up hit the sign around 3:45 a.m. AL-DOT will not confirm the company that owns the dump truck, since there is still an investigation pending.

AL-DOT will say it was a subcontractor to the construction company that is repaving I-459.

No one was injured.

After the sign came down, it took crews hours to clear the sign of the road. All lanes were closed at one point backing cars up for seven miles state troopers gradually re-opened lanes of traffic.

Within a few hours, the sign was cleared off the road, and traffic was back up to speed.

The sign, will be out of commission for some time.

"That sign will be down somewhere in the six to twelve month range," says AL-DOT engineer Brian Davis. "What we will do in the meantime is put a portable sign down there with a trailer so we can tell motorist that same information when we need to."

While this may seem like a freak accident.

Davis says, it happens all too often

"It really happens more when your construction zone is around one of them. Trucks empty and they drive some distance down the road, getting the debris out of their beds. It's happened in some of the last several construction zones we've had on the interstates, there happened to be one of these signs in that zone," says Davis.

Davis says these signs cost anywhere between $150,000 to $200,000 to replace.

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