If you drive along Interstate 459, you might want to budget more travel time. Guard-rail, grading work and asphalt paving work is set to begin along the highway. Work on the north and southbound on I-459 in Hoover is set to begin this weekend. The inside lanes will be shut down from the Al 150 interchange to the U-S 31 interchange...Sunday through Tuesday nights, from 7 PM until 6 AM.
ALDOT plans to install cable rails to keep drivers from crossing over into oncoming traffic. A series of fatal crashes along interstate 459 during the last few weeks of June claimed the lives of four people. Hoover Police decided to take action to keep more people from dying along the highway. For about 10 days following the accidents, police increased patrols, issued more citations and cracked down on speeding motorists. Police say a combination of tough enforcement and education efforts are slowing drivers down. But to save lives, more needs to be done. The Alabama Department of Transportation got involved.
ALDOT Brian Davis told ABC 33/40 "Regardless of what made the accidents occur, we sent a team down there to look at it and they felt like cable-rail was the solution, particularly in light of the vehicle crossing the median. We knew if the cable rail had been there, that vehicle would not have crossed the median."
In Hoover, a cable rail will be placed along Interstate 459 between Galleria Boulevard and Acton Road. Another rail will be placed along I-65 between Montgomery Highway and Alford Avenue, roughly between exits 252 and 254. A third project to add cable barriers is under way in the Birmingham area along Interstate 20/59 near Arkadelphia Road. That's where three people died earlier this year, in two separate crossover crashes.
In all, ALDOT will install a total of 15,000 feet of cable rail barriers along two stretches of interstate. Work will take up to 2 months to complete. ALDOT did an emergency appropriation for the $230,000 project on July 8. The contractor was notified Thursday.
Beginning Wednesday, July 23 at 7 PM until Thursday, July 24 at 6 AM, at various locations the outside northbound and southbound lanes of I-459 from the AL 150 Interchange to the U.S. 31 Interchange will be closed to perform paving operations, guardrail upgrades and shoulder grading on the emergency shoulder. The same procedure will be utilized the following night through Friday, July 25 at 6 AM.