Scott Bridge Co. of Opelika has begun work on a new CSX railroad bridge over the Mobile River, designed to ease a bottleneck for commercial river traffic.
The 14 Mile Bridge is named for its location, about 14 miles above Mobile.
A section of the existing bridge, built in 1925, pivots to allow river traffic to pass through a 126-foot channel, which can be a challenge for barges. The pivot section is being replaced with a vertical lift unit, to allow a 300-feet width and 60 feet of vertical clearance.
Estimated to cost $72 million, the project is being financed primarily with federal Truman-Hobbs funds, which are administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The project should be complete in two years, and CSX officials say construction will have a minimal impact on river and rail traffic.
By Nedra Bloom