AP NEWS

Traffic heavy through Birmingham after interstate closes

January 22, 2019

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Some streets through downtown Birmingham are clogged with traffic on the first day of a lengthy shutdown of Interstate 59/20.

Drivers were being detoured to city streets Tuesday after part of the interstate closed for demolition work that’s part of a project to replace Alabama’s busiest highway.

Traffic was particularly heavy as motorists negotiated the morning commute for the first time since the shutdown, which began Monday night.

Transportation officials are encouraging drivers to avoid the area as much as possible.

The shutdown affects the more than 1-mile-long section of I-59/20 from Red Mountain Expressway to Interstate 65.

Officials say the new interstate won’t open for more than a year. Construction costs are expected to top $700 million.

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