Residents living in the Southside area have taken matters into their own hands to try and replace a bridge that is more than 80 years old. Gilbert Ferry Bridge is the bridge that crosses the Coosa River from Southside to Rainbow City. Residents are calling for a new bridge with a petition that has been circulating the city. Community members are also calling for the expansion of Highway 77 between I-20 in Lincoln and I-59 in Talladega.
City Council member, Dana Snyder says copies of the petitions have been left at several businesses along Highway 77. Snyder believes that the Gilbert Ferry Bridge needs to be replaced to ensure safety in addition to eliminating traffic congestion. However, ALDOT’s North Region Public Information Officer, Seth Burkett says ALDOT has been watching traffic decrease in the area over the years and bridge reconstruction in that area is not in their current plans.
Burkett also says that a $1 million reconfiguration project was proposed to city officials last year for the bridge that would last 10 years, but officials declined. Currently, there are more than 1,000 signatures and Snyder hopes to collect a lot more through the weekend.