ALDOT plans shoulder closures on I-459—alternatives for new routes here

I20/59 ,Birmingham,highway
Birmingham traffic on I-459 is no joke. Photo via ALDOT

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) announced that they plan to close the shoulders of I-459 in the North and Southbound lanes due to road closures. This closure will last from Thursday, October 28 at 8 AM-4 PM the next day—just in time for your Friday afternoon commute. This, of course, will be weather permitting.

Keep reading for all the details, including ways to avoid traffic delays in your area.

Who will this affect?

Traffic, 459
The closures will affect the Liberty Park and Highway 280 areas of I-459. Photo via Bham Now

ALDOT plans to close small areas on the left hand shoulder that were there from previous crashes or just years of wear and tear. This would primarily affect the Liberty Park area and the 280 area. Since these take a day or two to repair, ALDOT has decided to close those lanes for the remainder of Thursday and Friday mid-afternoon.

Because of the ongoing traffic on I-459, especially during rush hour, ALDOT has advised motorists to use an alternate route of transportation. If that’s not a possibility, alter the time you leave in order to make it to your destination on time. When we talked to the Birmingham Area Operations Engineer, Dee McDaniel, he advised these alternate routes.

“They can come in on Grants Mill Road and go to I-20 and come into town that way if need be, or use Grants Mill Road to go around to State Route 119.”

Dee McDaniel, Birmingham Area Operations Engineer, ALDOT

While these routes might work for those heading Downtown, the rest of us can be advised to leave at an earlier time in order to have a smooth drive. Want to make sure you arrive on time? Use an app like Waze to plan and schedule your drive—all you have to do is leave when you’re prompted by the app.

Drive Safely

Jefferson County roads and transportation crews are doing important work—learn how
Slow down on your commute with these safety tips. Photo via Bham Now

In addition to letting Jefferson County residents know about the closures, ALDOT wants you to drive safely. This means putting your phone away (yes, you), slowing your speed and changing lanes to give the ALDOT crew a little more space to work. In an April press release, ALDOT mentions three crucial safety tips that can protect you and the road crew.

  • Drive alert.
  • Slow down.
  • Don’t tailgate. Watch for large trucks.

McDaniel stresses the importance of safety when driving down a road with construction crews.

“We just ask people when going through our work zones to drive with caution and be alert, be aware and respect there are individuals working in that work zone. We all have families to go home to.”

Dee McDaniel, Birmingham Area Operations Engineer, ALDOT

For more traffic updates in Jefferson County, visit ALDOT’s website.

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Olivia Moses
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