Alabama Owner Operator Jobs
As one of many states that host a portion of the critical inter-coastal Interstate 10, Alabama is an important part of the national highway system. Unfortunately, the Alabama segment is not functioning as well as could be hoped. The section immediately surrounding the Wallace Tunnel under the Mobile River has been rated the worst chokepoint on Alabama roadways. The highway has regular delays for the 66,000 vehicles that traverse this section daily. During holiday travel times, the road has been the location of traffic jams up to 16 miles long near the tunnel. Although a six lane bridge over the river is in process, that project is still in the planning stages.
Segments of I-65 in the Birmingham area are the second worst sections of congested road for the owner operator in Alabama. With 142,000 vehicles using the highway per day, the rush hour commutes average a speed of only 35 mph. In fact, all but one of the remaining top ten most congested roadways are in the Birmingham area. Overall, 52 percent of Alabama’s urban highways including Interstates were rated congested.
The roads and highways in the rest of the state, while not as overcrowded, are desperately in need of attention. The pavement on 13 percent of the state’s major roadways was rated poor or mediocre in a recent study. The sub-par condition of many roadways costs an estimated $601 million per year in vehicle depreciation, repairs and fuel waste. The same study found about a quarter of the state’s bridges were obsolete or deficient. Many of these deficient bridges have severely limited weight restrictions, causing delays in travel and increased fuel consumption.
Although the roads in Alabama are deficient both in terms of capacity and in condition, the funds needed to improve them are not being allocated. Thanks to projected budget shortfalls over the next several years, it is unlikely that much money will be devoted to infrastructure improvements.
For the owner operator in Alabama, pre-planning routes through the state is essential. By knowing what highways to avoid due to deficient bridges, and trying to avoid rush hour in Birmingham, the driver can save some fuel and time navigating through the state.