BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — In addition to drivers who will have to change their daily commute during the I-59/20 bridge shutdown, residents in the areas where detoured drivers will be travelling are concerned.
The heavy traffic and gridlock that Birmingham drivers might have been used to on the 59/20 bridge through downtown will now be found on smaller city streets. One major bypass leads cars down Finley Boulevard where neighbors fear their front yards might soon feel more like a highway.
“It’s already enough traffic so all the traffic that will have to be coming through here for the detour, it’s going to be ridiculous. and as long as they’re going to have it shut down for too, a year, that’s a long time,” Jennifer Lawley, who lives along the detour route, said.
Lawley worries about her four kids close to a roadway that will soon get much busier.
“It just worries me to even let my kids go outside,” Lawley said.
Another resident, Bettie Jean Bellamy Clayton has lived along Finley Boulevard for 16 years. Now, Clayton is well-aware that the increased traffic will make it harder to navigate an area that she says already gets congested.
“Over here, it gets so congested you’ll be at least 30-45 minutes late to wherever you’re going because it’s moving like a snail,” Clayton said.
Her concern goes out for all pedestrians, including children and adults, as the detours go into effect.
“We’re looking at a time bomb,” Clayton added.
To find detailed routes for drivers who will run into the I-59/20 shutdown, follow this link.