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Crews still working to determine what caused deep cracks on Highway 231

Crews have been working to remove several inches of pavement to determine what the cause of the cracks are.

Posted: Feb 14, 2020 8:35 PM
Updated: Feb 14, 2020 8:37 PM

Crews started to remove about 12 to 18 inches of pavement on the cracked areas of Highway 231 on Friday morning.

Removing these layers will only allow engineers to find out what the problem is, so the repair process hasn't even started yet.

People in the area are now forced to adjust to the road closure, and they're not happy about it.

"Well I live on Union Hill Road so it really affects the traffic past my house," says Reba McNally, who lives in Union Hill.

"My mom drives my dad to work every morning and he works right across the mountain and it's like a 5-minute drive," says Morgan Wurster, who lives in lacey's spring

It's a big crack causing a big headache for people who travel it daily.

"So now she's doing like an hour drive instead of 5 minutes," says Wurster.

"I'm gonna have to turn here on 36 and take a detour which is gonna probably take me 25 to 30 minutes out of my route," says James Buckett, who commutes on Highway 231.

The department of transportation hired reed contracting in an emergency contract this morning. On Friday, crews started to remove the cracked pavement. The department of transportation believes the problem is caused by something underneath the roadway.

"It's rough. It showed a lot of cracks in it. It's rough," said Fred Davis, who lives in Morgan County.

deep, wide cracks, and now a shifting roadway...which is bringing in lots of crews... But no timeline as to when construction and repairs will be completed.

"It's gonna take a lot of things to get it fixed," adds Davis.

"Stuff like this really does affect you," says Buckett.

And leaving drivers with longer travel times and detoured routes.

"I know that the project is indefinite right now so hopefully they can figure out a time to get this fixed," explains Wurster.

The north region engineer from the department of transportation told us the pavement removal could take 2-3 days.

The new detours, traffic signals, and extra driving caused by all of this are a hardship for anyone who uses this road daily.

"You know Cecil Ashburn was closed and now we got this one," says Buckett.

The Highway 231 shutdown is adding extra time onto travel and backed up roads during rush hour.

"We are getting a whole bunch of semis, trailers, being shipped into arab so a crack in the highway is probably going to be a pain in the butt," said Joseph Gomez, who commutes on Highway 231.

On Friday, we drove one of the detoured routes and it took us about 20 minutes. But with traffic, the Morgan County Sheriff's Office say it could take about 35-45 minutes for drivers.

"My parents are definitely experiencing that and not being able to get to work is probably difficult for a lot of people," says Wurster.

"When I have to go to Huntsville, it's added about 20 minutes to my commute," says McNally.

Drivers tell us Highway 231 was an easy route for people from Cullman, Morgan, Marshall, and Madison Counties take to get to and from their destinations.

"We do most of our shopping in Huntsville. It adds to everything we do," adds McNally.

The department on transportation says their geotech engineers were on scene today. They hope to have a proposal for a solution by next week.

"A lot of people go that way. You don't realize it until now. Now you see how many people go that way," says Buckett.

The department of transportation told us they were monitoring a crack on the southbound lane on Highway 231... But the cracks on the northbound lane suddenly appeared after heavy rain on Wednesday night.

They also the cracks are getting worse and deeper, but they have been removing pavement around them all day to find the problem.

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