The Mobile River Bridge project will take another step forward after Mardi Gras, according to a statement released today from the Alabama Department of Transportation.

ALDOT will begin field work along the Interstate 10 corridor in preparation of a foundation load test program for the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project.

Construction crews will begin mobilizing the week of February 5. Pile driving may begin as early as Wednesday, Feb. 14. A limited number of test piles will be driven at various locations along the proposed project corridor.

Varying types and size foundation piling and drilled shafts will be driven and constructed at the Texas Street Interchange, the west bank of the Mobile River and along the Bayway. This work will provide additional preliminary data to the teams that will be submitting proposals to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the proposed Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project.

The information gathered from these tests allows designers to minimize the length of piling needed in the final design, which will lead to significant cost savings.

Local Mobile contractor Jordan Pile Driving, Inc. was awarded the $3.4 million contract. The work completion date is May 31, 2018.

ALDOT is committed to protecting the natural environment. All efforts will be put in place to protect water quality and wildlife. Heavy equipment and barges will be required to perform this work, so the traveling public and boating community should be aware of their presence.

Traffic will not be impacted during this construction, however drivers should obey posted speed limits and be aware of crews in the area.