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Alabama Department of Transportation crews worked late into the night Thursday on into the early hours of Friday to install temporary traffic lights and establish multiple detours in Lacey’s Spring.
This is to help drivers and nearby businesses cope with problems associated with the significant cracks that have developed and lead to the shutdown of part of Hwy. 231.
Wednesday night, the crack was only impacting the southbound lanes of Hwy. 231. But crews saw how the damage had increased and shut down traffic in both directions on Thursday.
Late Thursday, WAAY 31 was there as crews installed three temporary traffic lights on Hwy. 36 near Union Hill Road.
Business owners say they hope the lights and detours will help.
Appliance store owner Michael Owen is trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation. The closure of Hwy. 231 is forcing more traffic along Hwy. 36 than he normally sees.
“It’s pretty, pretty crazy,” said Owen, owner of Owen Home Appliance. “A family member told me it was backed up from 231 at Wavaho all the way here to our store today at one time.”
Firefighter and business owner Larry Lang came up the road to the convenience store for some food and to see how traffic was working on Thursday night.
“I try to direct traffic as much as I can, too, cause I'm with the fire department, so I do as much as I can to help volunteer,” said Lang, owner of Heaven Bound Thrift Store.
But while the extra traffic is causing a headache for some drivers and residents, both Lang and Owen see this as a potential opportunity for business owners like them.
“We were more busy than we've been in a while. It's really picking up since this traffic now,” said Lang.
“We'll see how it goes,” said Owen. “We may open up new hours to where we're open earlier and later, depending on how it goes, depending on what ALDOT says.”