Auburn research team completes first day of testing on Highway 231 cracks

The team plans to give the results from the testing it did to the department of transportation by Monday night.

Posted: Feb 17, 2020 4:59 PM
Updated: Feb 18, 2020 7:35 AM

An Auburn research team wrapped up the first round of testing Monday on Highway 231.

The team plans to give the results from the testing to the department of transportation by Monday night.

They said it is a quick turnaround, which unusual for them, but they know how important it is to get this road diagnosed and fixed as soon as possible.

The team worked to figure out what rock layers are beneath the road, and where they are causing the movement in the road that caused this crack. The team, made up of graduate and PHD students, told WAAY 31 even though it'll be hard work, they were excited to get the call about this project

"It's kind of a big deal for us you know we get to get out and get on a high profile project and hopefully show what we can do and show that we can help people," Michael Kiernan, an Auburn PHD student, said

Auburn professor Jack Montgomery said the team usually focuses on landslides and sinkholes, so he knew they were more than capable of doing this testing.

"This was something that we knew we would be able to help with and we were happy to come down," Montgomery said.

He said some of the students volunteered to come help because they knew how many people were impacted when the road closed. They wanted to help the Alabama Department of Transportation quickly be able to diagnose the road, so they can work on getting it fixed.

"We were excited to be able to come down here, it's a great opportunity for the students to be out on a major project and we're just grateful to be able to come and help ALDOT get the information they need to get this road fixed as quickly as they can," he said.

Kiernan was one of those volunteers.

"Whenever they ask us for a favor we try to jump in and help them because they're paying for our education," he said.

He said he also know the work they do on this project will benefit them in the long run

"If we can do a good job out here then we're going to start getting more phone calls and start getting our name out there then hopefully have jobs when we graduate," he said.

The Auburn team is expected to return Friday for follow-up testing.

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