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More deep cracks open on Highway 231, all lanes currently shut down

The north and south bound lanes on Highway 231 are closed, and the Alabama Department of Transportation does not know when the problem will be fixed.

Posted: Feb 13, 2020 9:10 PM
Updated: Feb 14, 2020 8:47 AM

The cracks on Highway 231 are forcing school buses from four schools to find new ways to pick up and drop off students.

On Thursday, crews brought us up the northbound lane and that's where we saw the fresh new cracks that happened overnight.

Credit: EQB View

They tell us these spots happened from the heavy rain and because the ground was so saturated from the weather.

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With this portion of Highway 231 shut down at this time, it's causing problems for Morgan County Schools.

"It'll add 45 minutes a trip for me to go around back and forth home and to come to this area and go right back up," says Johnny Moore.

Moore lives off the portion of Highway 231 that is currently shut down.

"I live 3 miles from here, but I have to go 8 or 10 miles out of the way," says Moore.

Moore has two grandchildren who go to Lacey's Spring Schools. Lacey's Spring, Union Hill and Cotaco Junior High Schools, along with Brewer High School will have bus delays because of the project.

"It's going to cause some delays. We're gonna ask parents to prepare 10-15 minutes earlier. They might need to leave 10-15 minutes earlier every day," says Lee Willis, the Morgan County Schools Deputy Superintendent. 

The department of transportation does not know how long it will take to fix the deep cracks on 231.

"We're just gonna have to deal with it until the Alabama Department of Transportation has everything fixed," says Willis.

Although schools buses are delayed because of the cracks, moore told me he's glad it happened over night… not when school buses are on the road.

"It's just an inconvenience getting back and forth commuting up and down the mountain but it's just a blessing they found it before someone got hurt or it was a real bad injury," says Moore.

Morgan County Schools said they will be assessing bus times and plan on having school start at regular time tomorrow.

WAAY 31 spoke with the North Region Engineer for the department of transportation. He told me they plan to removed the pavement where the cracks are so they can determine what the problem is, and then fix it.

"This was a significant event that happened overnight. We were not anticipating this and it's pretty severe. We will be monitoring and evaluating the day with our technical engineers just to see how extensive it is and we'll come up with a solution to act as quickly as possible," says Curtis Vincent, the North Engineer for ALDOT.

But with cold weather on the way people told us they're worried it could make matters worse.

"I feel like it'll make the crack bigger with all reality. When it freezes it's gonna expand it and make it even worse," said Johnny Moore, who lives in Lacey's Spring.

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