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Green is your color

By Michael Butler

The repainting and repair work for the Benjamin Fitzpatrick Bridge is underway. The Alabama Department of Transportation estimates the project, which began in March, could take 16 months or longer to complete depending on weather delays.

Commuters crossing the Tallapoosa River along Highway 14 between East and West Tallassee have dealt with delays already and are making adjustments to their regular schedules.

Those same travelers have already noticed some of the early work taking place, most notably the paint color. Many have asked the question - is green the new color or just a primer?

The light shade of green has become the choice of bridges across the state.

"The bridge will be green," ALDOT public information officer Brantley Kirk said. "Green is the common color for ALDOT bridges."

Out with the Old
In with the New

The Benjamin Fitzpatrick Bridge, built in 1940, was originally gray/silver.

The cost of the project, which is expected to extend the life of the bridge, is $3.5 million. Omega Coatings and Construction, LLC, of Tarpon Springs, Fla., is doing the work.

Areas of concrete are being removed and replaced with a layer of sealant being applied to the bridge deck. Minor repairs to steel, expansion joints and bearings will also be done.

The 1,738-foot long bridge is the highest bridge above water in Alabama at 143 feet.

*Photos through the years of the Benjamin Fitzpatrick