SPANISH FORT – Widening of US 31 in front of Rockwell Elementary School should be completed before classes start this month, state highway officials said.
Matt Erickson, division engineer for the Alabama Department of Transportation told members of the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization at their July meeting that work to widen US 31 to four lanes is progressing on schedule.
“The contractor has really been concentrating on the widening of 31 from the section from Rockwell Elementary to 181,” Erickson said. “We’re really pushing him to get that open before the start of school and it looks like with some good weather, that will happen.”
Crews have been working to widen US 31 from Spanish Fort to the east since 2019.
In September, some traffic will be shifted to the new lanes while work continues to improve the existing lanes, Ericksen said.
“The widening is progressing nicely with concrete items being installed right now and they anticipate shifting traffic to some of the new section of 31 in September and we still anticipate the four lanes of traffic being opened up by the end of this year,” Ericksen said.
Ericksen said widening of Alabama 181 from Alabama 104 to Baldwin County 64 in Daphne should be finished by the end of 2021.
“The contract is progressing nicely, and he continues to work on construction of the new northbound lane, constructing the roadbed and the drainage work,” Ericksen said. “We’re anticipating to shift traffic in early 21 and completing of that project anticipated to be by the end of 2021.”
He said that while the diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 10 and Alabama 181 is open work on that project will also continue for about two months. Crews still have to complete some paving and permanent marking.
The interchange is the first diverging diamond project in Alabama and Ericksen said traffic is flowing well at the location.
“ALDOT, as well as the response we’ve had from the public, are extremely pleased with the new configuration,” he said.
The interchange had to be closed for several days while crews completed work. He said local police helped make the final work go well.
“We couldn’t have done this without the help of the city of Daphne and the city of Spanish Fort and their law enforcement helping us keep traffic off the contractors,” Ericksen said.
Work will begin in August on another project to improve the intersection of Alabama 59 and US 90 in Loxley.
He said that project should take four or five months to complete once utilities are relocated.