After the first morning and evening rush hours of 2019 without access to Cecil Ashburn Drive, we asked drivers what they thought about day one of the road closure.
"Today was wonderful. It was so much better than what I thought it could have been," Shannon Bingham said.
"It wasn't bad at all," Lori Sottolano said.
"I thought it was going to take a lot longer," Nick Sottolano said.
Several people told WAAY 31 the first day of the ten month Cecil Ashburn shutdown went better than expected.
"We just envisioned that it was just going to be a traffic jam," Bingham said.
Bingham, like so many others, gave herself extra time for her commute Monday and found herself pleasantly surprised.
"Everything flowed smoothly. We weren't all backed up," Bingham said.
It was the same for the Sottolano family.
"I was worried that he would be late to school and I would be late to work," Lori said.
She said that's why they left 20 minutes early.
"The waking up part was hard after break, but it wasn't that bad," Nick said.
Lori said the extra time turned out to be more than enough.
"I got to work early, he got to school early, and its been great," Lori said.
Of the three city suggested alternate routes, city officials said they noticed very few drivers utilize Highway 72 but are encouraging commuters to consider taking it. Bingham said she would've taken it this morning if she thought it was an option.
"As of yesterday that stoplight that took us on Rock Cut Road wasn't done. I was afraid it wouldn't be done this morning," Bingham said.
Now that she knows it's ready to go, Bingham said she'll think about taking Highway 72, but she ultimately just wants to find the route with the least amount of traffic.
"My plan is to check Google Maps every morning and see which route is the best route to take," Bingham said.
The people we talked to said they don't think today's traffic is an indicator of what rush hour will look like most days. Most of them mentioned there are still some schools who haven't returned from winter break and some Redstone Arsenal employees who aren't working during the government shutdown.
- Residents reflect on first day of Cecil Ashburn Drive shutdown
- Cecil Ashburn Drive Shutdown: Alternate Routes
- Cecil Ashburn shutdown impacts business owners
- Shutdown underway at Cecil Ashburn Drive in Huntsville
- Homeowners concerned over Cecil Ashburn Drive blasting
- Cecil Ashburn Drive key project improvements
- Navigating Cecil Ashburn alternate routes
- This is when Cecil Ashburn Drive construction will begin
- Some hiking trails closed during Cecil Ashburn Drive construction
- Officials: Cecil Ashburn Drive construction not impacted by rain