State says plan coming soon to repair Highway 231

Highway 231 was shut down in February because of deep cracks in the road.

Posted: Mar 4, 2020 2:41 PM
Updated: Mar 4, 2020 10:49 PM

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) says a solution for repairing Highway 231 on Brindlee Mountain is expected in the next few days.

Highway 231 was shut down in February because of deep cracks in the road. ALDOT says once there is a repair plan, it will provide an estimated timeline.

These are the official detours:

  • Northbound commercial traffic is detoured to Alabama 67 to Interstate 65
  • Southbound commercial traffic is detoured to Alabama 36 to Alabama 67
  • Northbound passenger traffic is detoured to Union Hill Road to Alabama 36
  • Southbound passenger traffic is detoured to Alabama 36 to Union Hill Road

Somerville resident Megan Lane said she drives the length of Highway 36, which lies on detour route, every day for work and to drop her children off at elementary school. She said leaving at least 20 minutes early in the morning and staying late at work to avoid the heaviest traffic is now just standard fare for her.

"I know I left work about 5:30 p.m. on Monday and it was a lot more clear than it is leaving at 4:30 p.m. today," said Lane.

On Wednesday, ALDOT had a meeting to discuss the data it has collected from the damaged part of Highway 231. One solution that is being considered is is to realign part of the roadway.

According to Seth Burkett, the north region public information officer, if that scenario is chosen, both the northbound and the southbound lanes would be shifted eastward to line up where the northbound lanes are currently. 

Diana Hough, who lives near Highway 36 with her husband, Joey, said once construction work begins, she hopes that at some point they will open up some lanes of traffic in the interm, instead of waiting until the project is completed. This would be similar to what ALDOT did when they widened Cecil Ashburn in Huntsville.

"Two lanes for the northbound traffic, you know, have two lanes there, instead of just routing everybody around would help," said Hough.

Meanwhile, Lane said since ALDOT has quite a bit of work to do, they should consider making additional improvements to the road as well.

"I feel like if they added an extra lane, it would also be helpful in the end just so it's not so much traffic. Because I feel like it's heavy traffic regardless of the road issue. So now that the road issue is here, I feel like it's just a lot worse," said Lane.

Crews will remain at the site and are boring and sampling to determine the extent of the damage. ALDOT says it will continue monitoring traffic flow and make adjustments as needed on the detour route.

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