By Gary Lloyd
When eastbound lanes of Interstate 20 between Interstate 459 and Interstate 20/59 close for road repairs Monday, an estimated 35,000 to 38,000 additional vehicles will likely pass through Trussville each day.
Trussville Mayor Gene Melton said Trussville residents who work in downtown Birmingham or those who travel this area need to think about changing their routes or leaving earlier than normal.
“It’s going to affect us big time,” Melton said.
The road repairing project is part of the Alabama Department of Transportation’s $38.5 million refurbishing project between I-459 and I-20/59. The work is expected to take about three months.
Eastbound lanes of I-20 will be closed from the I-20/Interstate 59 interchange to Interstate 459 for road repairs. Eastbound I-20 traffic going toward St. Clair County or Atlanta will be required to take I-59 North to Exit 138 back to I-20 East. Upon completion of the eastbound lanes, work will begin on the westbound lanes and these routes will be reversed.
The U.S. Highway 11 area near I-59 and I-459 will see congestion over the next few months. Beginning Monday at midnight, I-20 East will be closed between Exits 130 and 136. I-20 West will be closed between Exits 136 and 130 once the eastbound work is complete. Each direction is expected to take about 90 days. To reach I-20 East from I-20/I-59 South, motorists will take I-59 North to Exit 137 to I-459 South. Take I-459 South to Exit 29 to I-20 East.
To reach I-20/I-59 South, motorists will take I-20 West to Exit 136 to I-459 North. Take I-459 North to Exit 33A to I-59 South to I-20 West/I-59 South.
Melton said he’s worried about drivers who will try to get to Birmingham by taking U.S. Highway 11 to I-459 North and then merging onto I-59 South. Trussville Police Chief Don Sivley said the thousands of extra vehicles passing through Trussville “tells you what it’s going to be like.”
“It’s going to be a gridlock down there,” Sivley said.
Melton said he asked ALDOT to place barriers on the interstate to keep motorists from merging from I-459 North to I-59 South because of the possibility of “multiple fatalities” during the road repairs project. Should the barriers be used, then motorists would likely have to take Parkway East or John Rogers Drive to get to downtown Birmingham.
Motorists should be prepared for major delays on I-59, I-459 and U.S. Highway 11 during this time.
For project updates, visit www.progress20.com
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.