Highway 231 Emergency Bridge Construction

Laceys Spring, Alabama

Award of Merit

CONTRACTOR: Brasfield & Gorrie

OWNER: Alabama Dept. of Transportation


In February 2020, heavy rains caused a landslide on U.S. 231 between Arab and Huntsville, Ala., making the highway impassible and dangerous. The road, which serves approximately 15,000 cars per day, needed to be reopened as quickly as possible, especially since the detour added 30 minutes to travel times. For these emergency repairs, crews constructed two 1,000-ft-long, two-lane bridges, each comprised of seven 135-ft spans to carry northbound and southbound traffic.

Crews began construction at midnight of June 1 with a focus not only on a strict “traffic-on-bridge” deadline of Dec. 2, but on an early completion target of Oct. 2 that, if met, would merit a bonus. Crews worked around the clock to install the project’s 32 9-ft-dia drilled shafts, each socketed roughly 15 ft into bedrock, thereby successfully meeting a July 30 deadline for that work. The contractor completed the project in September, just ahead of the Oct. 2 early completion target.