Southside traffic congestion, city needs money for bridge

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Depending on the time of day traffic over the Southside bridge in Etowah County is a real problem. The city has an idea on how to relieve some of the congestion, but there's no money to make it happen.

The Southside bridge was built in the 1930's. It once handled two-way traffic. Now it funnels drivers from Southside into Rainbow City.

"Really bad traffic jam and if you had to get out in a hurry you're in a fix," Jan Perkins, a Southside resident said.

Drivers say they're tired of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic to cross the bridge. The biggest back up comes each morning and afternoon, when school begins and ends.

"During the summer it's a lot better but it's still pretty bad." Jessica Isbell, a Southside resident said.

Representative Craig Ford presented a bill in the sate legislature to address the bridge back up. It would have reallocated tax money to add on to the existing bridge.

However, the bill didn't go through. The local delegation couldn't come to an agreement on the legislation.

Southside Mayor Wally Burns tells ABC 33/40 the city would need to build a new bridge, but the city doesn't have the money.

So with no funding, drivers can do little but build in additional time for their commute.

Rep. Ford says fixing the traffic issue on the bridge could bring in more jobs and businesses.

The bridge traffic only goes in one direction. Some companies have to deal with their delivery trucks stuck in traffic. That costs time and money.

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