Birmingham is gearing up to do a lot of work on its bridges this summer. The work includes improvements to the West Maple Road, Oak Street and Lakeside Drive North bridges, along with the replacement of the Baldwin Avenue Bridge.
The Baldwin Bridge dates back to the 1920s and has been showing decades’ worth of wear and tear for a while now. The city plans to spend $700,000 to replace it, starting in July and finishing by November.
Gone will be the narrow, one-lane bridge, replaced by a two-lane span with a 5-foot-wide sidewalk. The city plans to recreate the historic arch underneath with a stone-cut faÃ§ade. It has done this with four other bridge replacements.
“It will be a larger bridge than what is there today, but it should be a better looking bridge,” says Paul O’Meara, city engineer for Birmingham.
The West Maple Road Bridge will undergo $107,000 in painting work on the exposed steel beams. It dates to 1950 and was significantly improved in 1998. The Oak Street Bridge, built in 1960, will also receive a $72,500 paint job on its exposed beams. The city plans to install channel diverters upstream of the Lakeside Drive North Bridge (1992) to help prevent sediment build-up. That project’s estimated cost is $94,000.
Source: Paul O’Meara, city engineer for Birmingham
Writer: Jon Zemke