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UPDATE: Alabama State Troopers shut down all lanes of Highway 231 at Hill Road in Lacey's Spring Thursday morning just before 5:00 a.m.
Officials with the Alabama Department of Transportation told WAAY 31 both lanes were shut down due to cracking in the northbound lanes overnight.
The official detour for northbound traffic is Alabama 69 southbound to Alabama 67 northbound to Alabama 36 eastbound to U.S. 231. The detour for southbound traffic is Alabama 36 westbound to Alabama 67 southbound to Alabama 69 northbound to U.S. 231.
FROM EARLIER: The Alabama Department of Transportation issued this news release Wednesday afternoon:
ALDOT crews will be repairing a crack on U.S. 231 southbound near Hill Road on Brindlee Mountain in Morgan County tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 13). Motorists should expect lane closures and be prepared to slow down and merge.
The repair work Thursday will focus on the outside southbound lane.
Weather permitting, crews will be back on U.S. 231 southbound Friday with a closure of the inside lane to perform repairs on that lane.
Thursday, motorists should also anticipate single-lane closures on U.S. 231 northbound in the same general area for some pavement repairs on that side.
This is the same location where a crack developed last February. At that time, ALDOT repaired the area by milling the damaged pavement and leveling it with asphalt. Understanding that the problem required further study before more permanent repairs should be undertaken, we installed slope sensors to monitor further slide movement in the area and performed exploratory drilling and surveying.
Yesterday, crews sealed a minor crack that reoccurred. Late yesterday afternoon and overnight, the crack grew, requiring closure of the outside (right) southbound lane. ALDOT personnel remained on site overnight.
Today, crews made temporary repairs, filling the crack with cold mix asphalt to prevent rainwater from penetrating and compounding the issue.
While the part of the crack in the inside (left) lane was able to be filled in and smoothed sufficiently to keep traffic on that lane, engineers determined the outside lane would have to remain closed until drier conditions permit a more substantial temporary repair. It appears the weather will accommodate this work Thursday.
Crews will dig out and rebuild the cracked area, similarly to last year’s repair. ALDOT personnel will continue to watch the area around the clock until repairs are complete and will monitor it closely for some time afterward, as we continue to examine the issue.
A spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Transportation said the crack is 3 1/2 inches wide.
Crews started using asphalt Wednesday morning to fill the crack and will be working to smooth it out. This is just a temporary fix until the rain moves out and a hot mix can be applied.
Depending on the weather, crews hope to apply that hot mix on Friday, and they might have to close the road.
A portion of Highway 231 is closed after heavy rain damaged the road.
The right southbound lane of Highway 231 at Hill Road in Lacey's Spring is closed as crews work to get it fixed. It's possible the lane could be closed for a few days. Crews can't repair the crack until it's dry outside and with more rain on the way, it could cause delays.
This isn't the first time this has happened. The road cracked in this same place last year after heavy rains.
That time, the Alabama Department of Transportation repaired it by grinding off the old pavement and leveling it with asphalt. That's likely the plan for this crack as well.
People who drive this road told us they're frustrated and hope once it's fixed this time, it won't happen again.
"It looked like they put a band-aid over it to fix it later, and now, it's become still an issue because of all this traffic," said Shana Talley.
The Department of Transportation tried to get ahead of this by installing inclinometers on the mountain. That was to measure the slope and elevation on the mountain for engineers to study.