Parts of the new Eva Road Bridge coming together

Parts of the new Eva Road Bridge over Bridge Creek were put into place Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Parts of the new Eva Road Bridge crossing Bridge Creek were put in place Tuesday, tangible evidence that the months-long project is moving forward. The stretch of Eva Road between Forrest Avenue Northeast and Scenic Drive Northeast has been closed for the new bridge construction since Nov. 5, 2018.

City of Cullman Risk Management Director Tom Charney said the project began Feb. 20, 2018. The old bridge was completely demolished in March 2019. He is cautiously optimistic for an October-November 2019 completion date.

“Once we get the bridge parts together, the 17 pieces of cement together, then they have to do the paving of it and have to put in another wing wall and pour a wing wall and things like that, so really that’s even early projecting that it’s going to be done the second week of November,” said Charney. “Hopefully we’ll get it done as soon as we can because we understand people use it to get their kids to school.”

Manning Construction, Thompson Engineering and Terracon Consulting are involved in the project, Charney said. He also said the project was originally planned for 2011, but it was pushed back after the tornadoes of April 2011 diverted attention to the damaged parts of the city.

Charney shared, “Every year, all the bridges have to be inspected, and we give a percentage rate. If a bridge goes below 50%, then the bridge, you have to consider replacing it. Eva Road went under the 50% mark, and at that point we had to, you know, build bridges. It was about 2017 (when it went under).”

He continued, “As soon as it went under the percentage, we started looking and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) released these grants for bridges. God, in Alabama I think there was over a hundred bridges (in) a federal grant that was administered by the County and ALDOT.”

Charney said the City of Cullman received $1,634,704.10 for the project.

“Once the bridge is completed for the citizens of Cullman, it will be a lot wider, a lot safer, and you can’t ask for anything more for your money,” he said. “The whole thing was to make it safer.”

Back in June 2018, the City of Cullman announced the new bridge will bear the name of longtime Cullman resident and respected businessman Hugh Brindley. When construction is complete, the bridge will be known as the “Hugh P. Brindley Sr. Memorial Bridge.”

The Eva Road Bridges have always been a piece of Cullman history. The very first bridge was constructed in Sept. 1891, with an article appearing in the Sept. 17, 1891 issue of the Cullman Alabama Tribune stating, “We learn that the bridges being built by the county are well under way. The one over Eight Mile Creek, superintended by W.A. Schlosser, and the one over Bridge Creek, superintended by Charlie Brown, will soon be ready for crossing. They will be convenient for travelers.”

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Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune