I-59/20 bridge project: The impact on drivers

Special Reports

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The new I-59/20 Bridge through downtown Birmingham is now open. But for the past year, thousands of drivers have been navigating construction zones and driving through detours to get around the year-long closure. 

Porsha Carter is one of those drivers. Her weekday commute from her home in Clay to her job at Floor and Decor in Homewood drastically changed Jan. 21, 2019. 

She could no longer drive her usual route — taking I-59/20 Southbound in front of the BJCC to I-65 Southbound where she exited at Green Springs Avenue. Instead, her morning commute was marked with uncertainty. 

 “I tried a couple things to see which one would get me faster or less amount of time, less amount of traffic,” said Carter.

After a few weeks, she settled into a new driving routine taking the Red Mountain Expressway into Homewood. 

“Usually like a 25-minute drive could take 40 minutes or 45 minutes. And if it’s like rain or if there’s an accident, it can be up to an hour sometimes.”

Carter said she got through the year practicing patience behind the wheel. 

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