The excavation of about 220,000 cubic yards of loose rock and soil from the landslide on Brindlee Mountain in Morgan County, the first phase of the Alabama Department of Transportation’s plan to repair and reopen U.S. 231, is now complete.

Over the past two months, Reed Contracting of Huntsville removed the equivalent of more than 65 Olympic-sized swimming pools of material to reduce the overburden on the slide as well as the depth to the underlying bedrock.

That sets the stage for Phase 2 of the repair, construction of twin bridges to span the unstable area of the mountainside between Morgan City and Lacey’s Spring, said ALDOT spokesman Seth Burkett.

Completion of Phase 1 comes one week after contractor Brasfield & Gorrie of Birmingham was awarded a $14.6 million contract for the Phase 2 bridge construction.

For more on this story, pick up Thursday’s Tribune or purchase an e-edition.

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