Washout leads to bridge, road closing

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, July 11, 2017

County officials closed a bridge near Goshen on Monday after heavy rains and runoff scoured the foundation.

Russell Oliver, Pike County road department director, said the damage is significant, making this a dangerous situation.

“The structure has settled some, but it is in imminent danger of totally collapsing,” Oliver said. “Everyone needs to avoid the area.”

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The road department erected barricades on the road and Oliver stressed that drivers should not try to go around the barricades.

Oliver said the department requested the Alabama Department of Transportation’s (ALDOT) bridge emergency team to take a look at the bridge.

“Unfortunately, there’s just no quick solution,” Oliver said. “We’re not sure yet if it can be repaired or if it will have to be totally replaced and the length of closure depends on what we have to do to fix the situation.”

At Monday’s commission meeting, commissioners told Oliver they prefer replacement if the bridge repairs would be comparable to replacement.

The road could remain closed for six to 12 months, he said.

Oliver said there’s no easy detour of the area, which is just north of the Goshen town limits. Drivers who use the bridge will need to find an alternate route that works best for them.

Oliver said he and Goshen Mayor Darren Jordan have already contacted Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools of the need to change the bus route  for the Goshen schools.

Jordan said drivers will ahve to go at least 8 miles out of their way just to take a detour.

Oliver told the Pike County Commission Mondaythat federal aid or local emergency funds could go to repair or replace the bridge.

The commission ultimately decided not to pre-emptively approve for Oliver to request bids on the project as commissioners said they wanted to look at the numbers so they can discuss the options of repair and replacement further before committing to anything.

Instead, they asked Oliver to bring them more information on projected costs for the project.