The City of Huntsville and the Land Trust of North Alabama are warning people to stay off closed hiking trails near the Cecil Ashburn Drive road-widening project. Blasting along the road got underway this month, and it's expected to last about 4 months.
Blevins Gap Nature Preserve overlooks Jones Valley. There are about 12 miles of trails in the area, and some are close to the project.
Teri Stone said she cleans houses that back up to the Cecil Ashburn road closure, so she hears the drilling and blasting.
"Every time I'm out this way, you can hear them working on the road, and it's kind of loud," she said.
The City of Huntsville said the construction crews caught at least one hiker taking video of the blasting, which caused workers to stop construction until the person was safely out of the area.
"They're not very intelligent, I don't think. That would be crazy. You're asking to get hurt," Stone said.
The Land Trust of North Alabama is asking people to abide by the signs that warn of closed trails because of the closeness to the project. It's something the City of Huntsville said could become deadly if people don't listen.
"They're protecting whoever is going to be on those trails and there are a lot of people who use those trails," she said.
Stone said the cold weather might be keeping hikers away for now, but come this spring, she thinks people hiking on closed trails will become an even bigger program.
"Just wait till it warms up. I'm sure there will be more out there, I'm sure," she said.
The Land Trust said if you are in the area around the time of blasting, five loud sirens should sound. The sirens are to warn people they have five minutes until blasting occurs and to be cautious or leave the area.
The closed trails near the construction aren't expected to reopen until May of 2020, when the Cecil Ashburn construction is complete.
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