ALDOT planning repairs on I-65 in Pelham

The Alabama Department of Transportation is planning to make some repairs on I-65 in Pelham beginning in May. (File)

The Alabama Department of Transportation is planning to make some repairs on I-65 in Pelham beginning in May. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

PELHAM – The Alabama Department of Transportation is planning to begin a project in May to perform preventative maintenance on a sinkhole and replace the concrete flumes along Interstate 65 in Pelham, according to the Pelham City Council.

During an April 20 meeting, the council voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with ALDOT to allow the state agency to perform the project.

Through the project, ALDOT will replace concrete flumes – or drainage areas – along I-65 between the Valleydale Road exit and the Alabama 119 exit. The agency also will repair a sinkhole along the stretch of road as a preventative measure, said Pelham Council President Rick Hayes.

“It’s nothing major. They are just going to go ahead and take care of it to make sure it doesn’t become a problem in the future,” Hayes said.

Hayes said ALDOT is handing the project, which will require no city funds.

“According to ALDOT, the project is scheduled for construction letting in May 2015,” read a letter to city leaders from Pelham City Engineer Jesse Jowers.

The stretch of I-65 has had sinkhole issues in the past.

In July 2010, while ALDOT was completing a widening project from Hoover to the tank farm exit in Pelham, crews discovered a sinkhole under the interstate slightly south of the Valleydale Road exit.

While crews worked to identify and repair the sinkhole, all southbound traffic was diverted onto the newly constructed outside lanes for a few weeks.