PHENIX CITY, Ala. — The 13th Street Bridge is another spot on the map Valley-area drivers dread for its construction delays.
The activity that area consists of two construction projects — the Crawford Street construction project that extends two miles from the 13th Street Bridge all the way to the Highways 280 and 80 and the Streetscape Project at Third Avenue. Both of them intersect right at the 13th street bridge and creates driver frustration.
“Around this time. . .it’s very heavy, and I think it’s dangerous,” says Angela Hubbard, a Phenix City driver we interviewed during rush hour.
We asked one man exactly how bad he thought it was. He tells us, “It’s bad. [I waited} about 30 minutes.”
Nothing but red brake lights, frustrated faces, as drivers make their way home into Phenix City during rush hour on a normal weekday around 5 pm. The vehicles line up and the wheels roll at a slow pace at the intersection of 13th Street and Whitewater Avenue in Phenix City. Traffic is at a standstill.
“I do believe they’re doing the best they can, but I wish they’d speed it up a bit,” Hubbard tells News 3.
This is actually the intersection of two construction projects. The first is the $2.3 million resurfacing of 13th Street and Crawford Road and traffic signal upgrades. The construction stretches from the 13th Street Bridge to Highway 280.
The city received a $1.8 federal grant and pitched in $467,000 of its own money for this project.
“When you go down that road now, it’s bumpy and there are a lot of manholes. All of that will be taken care of, and it will be a nice smooth ride,” says City Engineer Angel Moore.
The other project is the Whitewater Avenue Streetscape Project. It’s been going on since August, 2015. The city is footing the entire nearly $3 million bill to upgrade that street from 13th to 16th Streets.
“With all the upgrades, sure it’s been a little daunting for some people, but progress does take time,” Moore adds.
One of the bumps in the road for the city was the discovery of contaminated dirt at this construction site, once the projects began. However, that’s now been remedied by the city and up to environmental standards. Both projects are expected to be completed and fully open by August.
Recently, the Moon Road construction project was completed, giving drivers there relief.