An Interstate 65 expansion project that involves planning, overlay and re-striping from the Shelby County Route 52 overpass to the south end of the Cahaba River Bridge in Alabama began in early July, with a completion target set for the late fall of 2020.
The contract for the freeway project is $5.8 million.
The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) initiated preliminary work on July 6, including the placement of construction signs and engineering layout.
Shortly after that, the state agency and its contractor partners, Dunn Construction Co., in nearby Alabaster, and the Pelham office of Wiregrass Construction Co., began the task of asphalt leveling and re-striping got under way in the northbound (inside) lane. After that is complete, the same operation will take place in the southbound lane.
Asphalt milling is currently being performed in the northbound lane for the length of the project before proceeding to the southbound lane.
ALDOT said the schedule called for asphalt paving along the new inside lane to begin northbound near the Exit 242 (Shelby County Road 52) overpass in Pelham during the first week of August. Once that is finished, crews will repeat the process in the southbound lane of I-65.
The benefit of the road work is that the interstate will then be made up of four lanes in each direction from Alabaster north to I-459 on the southeastern outskirts of Birmingham.
ALDOT is requesting that motorists consider using alternate routes, adjust arrival and departure times, observe work zone speed limits and other work zone signs, and use extreme caution in this area.
Interstate 65 is one of Alabama's most important (and busiest) transportation arteries as it travels north-south across 366 miles of mostly rural countryside, while also linking six of the state's 10 largest cities. In addition, the highway connects with many other critical roadways that make commerce inside and outside of the state's boundaries possible. Near the Gulf Coast, it starts at Interstate 10 near Mobile and as it moves traffic north it passes through Montgomery, Birmingham, and Decatur before entering Tennessee.