Tuscaloosa arch on I-20/59 over McFarland Blvd being replaced

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Contracter to replace McFarland Arch on I-20/59 (Courtesy/ALDOT)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A contracting company has met with ALDOT to replace the eastbound arch on Interstate 20/59 over McFarland Boulevard in Tuscaloosa.

ALDOT reports, although the arch does not pose any danger to the traveling public, it does not meet the Alabama Department of Transportation’s specifications. The contractor and ALDOT worked together to find a solution, but it was ultimately determined that a replacement was required.

The contractor has already ordered a new eastbound arch and plans to install it, along with a newly fabricated westbound arch, in early 2021. With the remaining roadway and abutment work, the revised estimated completion date is summer 2021.

The arches are necessary, as they will hold the weight of the bridge over McFarland Boulevard and will allow the contractor to remove underneath supports. This design will allow for more space on McFarland Boulevard where the single-point urban interchange (SPUI) will be constructed. The SPUI will improve travel time while also enhancing safety, as it allows motorists to simultaneously turn without crossing the path of opposing left-turning motorists and moves more vehicles through the intersection while reducing potential conflict points.

In addition, the rain paired with COVID-19 has slowed the project down, ALDOT reports. Tuscaloosa averages approximately 53 inches of rain annually. However, through only eight months, Tuscaloosa has already accumulated 65 inches, according to rain gauges on the project.

This work is part of the add-lanes and bridge replacement project from near Exit 73 to near Exit 77 that is intended to improve safety, mobility and commerce.


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