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Truck traffic a headache for downtown Birmingham neighbors

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As construction on the I-59/20 bridge continues downtown, neighbors say many truck drivers are driving where they are not supposed to.

The city of Birmingham recently installed signs in the Norwood, Fountain Heights, and Druid Hills neighborhoods that state certain roads are for local deliveries only.

Some people say drivers are ignoring the signs and would like to see more enforcement.

“We want them to respect our sidewalks and our neigborhood and just not tear up our neighborhood. Those big truks are knocking down fire hydrants, and storm drain covers, and telephone polls and light poles,” said Mary Jean LaMay, who is vice president of the Norwood Neighborhood Assocation.

LaMay told CBS 42 that the city and Alabama Department of Transportation have listened to concerns from neighbors.

“Trucks have utilized their own GPS units to manuever through those neighborhoods to try to get through downtown. Because of that there has been some complaints, but we have worked very closely with the city of Birmingham,” said DeJarvis Leonard with ALDOT.

According to Leonard, construction is on schedule. The project is expected to take fourteen months, but Leonard said the contractor is aiming to be finished sooner as part of an incentive.

Leonard said drivers should still expect to see impacts this summer.

“Tourists trying to get to the beach, you’re going to see an increase in traffic. We will be monitoring that and see if there is anything we can do to alleviate any of those congestion points that may occur,” said Leonard.

For people who live downtown, the end of roadwork cannot come soon enough. Neighbors are hopeful truckers start pay attention to the recently added signs.

“People trying to save 5 miutes speed through my neighborhod in a big rig that takes a little bit longer to stop, and we do have 400 kinds in our  immediate neighborhood that walk to and from school, or to and from the bus stop or to and from the bus,” said LaMay.

CBS 42 reached out to Birmingham leaders for an update on enforcement along detour routes, but a spokesperson said the transportation director was out of the office Monday.
 

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