BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Birmingham has announced that the Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard Bridge, also know as “Rainbow Viaduct,” that connects 1st Avenue North and 1st Avenue South will be closed to all vehicles starting at 6 a.m. Friday.
The 100-year-old structure has deteriorated over time and has been under constant monitoring over the past few years, according to the city. It has also been one of the lowest-rated bridges in Alabama.
In 2019, the city attempted to increase awareness of the bridge’s 3-ton weight limit by adding new signage, but it was ineffective. The city says constant disregard for the limit and increase use of heavy vehicles over it has left them no choice but to limit access to bridge.
The Department of Transportation has hired a firm that is currently in the design phase of finding a replacement for the Rainbow Viaduct. Funding options for the project are also being discussed at this time.
However, pedestrians can continue to safely use the bridge without causing further damage to the existing structure. Bicycle and scooter use will also be allowed as well.
Pedestrians, bicycles, and scooters will be allowed to go across the bridge. Drivers will be able to get downtown from the south by using other routes via 20th and 24th Street.