Alberta bridge repair might impair business - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alberta bridge repair could impair business

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

    Rain or shine, the Alberta bridge above Kicker Road is a busy and major traffic connector.  But, the bridge is in bad shape.

    This fall, beginning in August the Alabama Department of  Transportation will replace the bridge.  Construction is expected to take about a year.  That upset's business owners like Saleh Ahmassy.  He relocated his Metro PCS building to the foot of the bridge after the 2011 Tornado that ripped apart the Alberta community.  "We spend so much money remodeling, moving everything getting a franchise Metro PCS and now they tell us you're not going to have any business for a whole year,"said Ahmassy.

    Detours will be quite lengthy, miles down McFarland to Skyland Blvd and then back to the opposite end of Alberta in Cottondale.

    Kerry Wesson who lives in Alberta says it means an extra 20 minutes to take his daughter to school each day. "She goes to school right down there at Captsone. I'm going to have to come all the way around hit McFarland Boulevard come back up ,turn by the hospital and come back this way."

    That's the same detours hundreds of Alabama Football fans traveling from out of town might have to take.  City councilman Kip Tyner says he's talked with AL-DOT officials but says its the best plan.  "Its unfortunate. What I'm hoping is that since they didn't get it done on schedule they'll now put it on a fast track," Tyner stated.

    Tyner says he's asked that contractors work 24-hour work days to speed up the project.  ALDOT officials say they plan to offer contractors incentives to finishing replacing he bridge early.

    Ahmassay on the other hand just wants detours shortened to keep traffic flowing near his business.  "There's plent of space right there where they can reroute it and it would only take two seconds instead of rerouting it through Skyland and McFarland."

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