DAPHNE – The intersection of Interstate 10 and Alabama 181 is scheduled to close for more than three days starting Sunday, June 28 to complete work on the state’s first diverging diamond interchange.
Unless weather delays work, the Alabama Department of Transportation is scheduled to shut down the overpass and interstate exits starting at 9 p.m. Sunday to prepare for the change. North and southbound lanes of Alabama 181 will be closed between Eastern Shore Boulevard and Demetrios Boulevard. The interstate exits for the location will also be closed. Drivers wanting to get on or off the interstate will have to use the exits at Daphne or Loxley.
Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood said officials from local cities have been talking to ALDOT to prepare for the change.
“We realize that it’s going to be inconvenient for a few days, but we met with ALDOT this week and they feel that this is the best way to do this with the minimum impact,” Haygood said.
He said Daphne and Spanish Fort police and fire officials use the highway to respond to emergencies across I-10. First responders are making plans to answer calls either stationing units across the interstate or using other routes.
Drivers should also make plans to take alternate routes and to be prepared for more traffic on other roads, Haygood said. “If you usually leave at 7 a.m., you might want to be ready to leave earlier, around 6,” he said. “I’m going to have to do that.”
Alternate routes will be US 31 north of I-10 and US 90 south of the interstate.
Haygood said that if the start of the project is delayed by rain, the closings would be postponed for two weeks.
“We’re not going to have this closed over the Fourth of July weekend,” Haygood said.
Once work begins, crews are scheduled to work around the clock to perform striping and lane reconfigurations, barrier rail and guardrail installations, signage installation and modifications, and signalization of the interchange.
Police, firefighters and tow trucks will be stationed near the work site to deal with accidents or other traffic problems caused by construction and the closing.
When the interchange opens again, traffic will use the new diverging diamond traffic configuration, according to ALDOT reports.
Some work will continue after the interchange reopens and some lanes will be closed at times to allow crews to finish concrete islands, paving and striping and for signals to be installed.
The interchange will be the first diverging diamond interchange in Alabama. The pattern is intended to improve traffic flow efficiency and safety with fewer traffic lights and safer entry and exit lanes to and from I-10.