Foul Fowl: Tuesday morning bridge kerfuffle just a greasy memory

Why did the chicken cross the bridge? In Tuscaloosa on Tuesday morning, it was to cause a foul, stinky, greasy mess.

A Tyson Foods subcontractor was carrying a truck full of chicken byproducts — not live chickens — lost its load just past the Hugh Thomas Bridge on Lurleen B. Wallace Boulevard South, right at the intersection of Lurleen and University Boulevard.

As the Tuscaloosa Police Department so kindly alerted drivers on Facebook Tuesday morning, it was quite a mess for commuters.

“I can’t imagine,” said Tuscaloosa resident Michael Myers, who was eating breakfast not too far away at City Cafe in historic downtown Northport.

No imagination needed, because traffic was backed up for hours from the bridge all the way to the intersection of Lurleen B. Wallace and McFarland boulevards in Northport while the Alabama Department of Transportation cleaned up the grisly gristle.

“It was enough to where we had to close some lanes to clean it up,” said ALDOT West Central Region Public Information Officer John McWilliams. “We put down sand and the sand helped absorb the fat and oils in the chicken, then we were able to pick the sand up and dispose of that.”

All clucks and giggles aside, it could have been an eggs-tremely dangerous situation, McWilliams said.

“What drivers don’t realize is that with oil and grease, you will slide if you brake,” McWilliams said. “It was important for our crew to come and fix this situation and they did a great job.”

Everything was all cleaned up and disposed of by around 10:30 a.m., and while there were rumors that the spill was disposed of in the Black Warrior River, McWilliams quickly put that to roost.

The waste was disposed of at a landfill in Coker, he said.

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