The first phase of a $1.7 million dollar bridge project in Dothan is set to get underway. Local leaders have been planning expansion of the bridge on Brannon Stand Road for months now.
Houston County officials say this is the most expensive bridge project they've ever had. However, in order for it all to happen, as planned, there will have to be a very expensive detour put in place.
Mark Culver with the Houston County Commission, said, “Our long range term plan includes four-laning Brannon Stand Road and before we do that, we need to widen the bridge. So this is just the first step in a big project.”
Ten thousand cars cross the bridge, located just south of Flowers Chapel Road, every day.
For that reason, a detour including a temporary steel bridge will be constructed with a weight limit that will allow cars and school busses to pass through.
Houston County Engineer Mark Pool said, “It will start at the traffic signal and go about 400 or 500 feet up above the bridge, [then] go through the woods and through the swamps.”
Ten county engineers say the detour that goes around this bridge will have two 90-degree turns so motorists will have to slow down and use caution.
“The city of Dothan is going to work with us on the traffic control and we’re going to work with them and they're going to work with us,” Pool added.
Heavier trucks such as semis will have to avoid the area all together.
Houston County officials plan to have the detour completed by June 8th of next year, which is the scheduled start date for the bridge replacement project.
County engineers tell us construction of the new bridge will take approximately four months to complete.
County commissioners are scheduled to vote on the detour project next week.
They will also hold a meeting in October to address the public's questions and concerns about the project.