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Public involvement meeting set for SR-77 “Little Bridge” replacement

Tractor trailers and cars cross an old truss bridge.
Vehicles cross the Coosa River on the aging truss bridge on SR-77 northbound.
Jun 14

The Alabama Department of Transportation will hold a public involvement meeting next week to gather input on the replacement of the northbound bridge on SR-77 over the Coosa River in Etowah County.

The meeting for project BR-A181(941) will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at the Southside Community Center.

The “Little Bridge” opened to traffic in 1939 and originally carried traffic across the river between Rainbow City and Southside. Following the construction of a larger southbound bridge, the narrow truss bridge was converted to one lane to serve northbound traffic only.

Now, the two bridges carry a combined total of about 25,000 vehicles daily.

A low, narrow bridge crosses the river with a taller, modern bridge visible in the background.
The more modern southbound bridge on SR-77 stands tall next to the low, narrow bridge constructed in the 1930s.

ALDOT proposes replacing the northbound bridge with a modern two-lane bridge with 12- foot travel lanes and minimum 6-foot shoulders. Preliminary design indicates the new bridge would have a slightly higher profile and clearance over the river, but the grade on the northbound side would remain relatively unchanged to accommodate the nearby intersection with Lakeshore Drive/Whorton Bend Road.

A map showing construction of a new bridge on the same alignment as the existing bridge
Replacing the bridge on the same alignment is currently the preferred option.

Online public involvement is open for comments.

Maps showing preliminary design features and anticipated right-of-way acquisition, simulations of proposed traffic control during construction, and information about the historic bridge are available online and at the in-person meeting.

All comments regarding this project must be submitted on or before Friday, July 5. Comments will assist ALDOT in finalizing concept and design of the project.