Highway 231 reopens in Morgan County

The highway reopened Monday afternoon.

Posted: Sep 27, 2020 4:21 PM
Updated: Sep 28, 2020 2:39 PM

Update on Sept. 28 at 11:15 a.m.: The Alabama Department of Transportation said the southbound roadway is expected to be open around 11:30 a.m. The northbound roadway will most likely open shortly after noon on Monday.

Original story: 

We're just one day away from an anticipated highway reopening.

After almost 8 months, people are getting the chance to take a drive on part of U.S. Highway 231 in Morgan County. This comes after record-breaking rain washed out the road near Lacey's Spring in February.

WAAY-31 spoke with drivers who are ready for the road to open.

The highway has been closed since February, but that changes tomorrow.

The Alabama Department of Transportation says this opening is more than 2 months ahead of schedule, and drivers say they're looking forward to a quicker and safer drive.

"I'm extremely thankful the construction crews were able to finish 2 months ahead of schedule and I think everyone is going to see huge improvements in quality of life because of this," said Dustin Parker.

Parker drove down Highway 231 to and from work, but after part of the road was completely blocked off, he and others experienced longer commutes as they were forced to take a series of two-lane roads on Highway 36.

"People are going to feel less stressed. It used to take 30 minutes. Now, it's like an hour, hour and a half, so it'll be great in that area," said Lynsey Staggs.

After months of raining and flooding, it caused cracks and shifts in the road that made it unsafe to drive on. The Alabama Department of Transportation closed it off and began planning a permanent fix. It chose to build two deep foundation bridges in its place, and the project cost more than $14 million.

Now, after months of waiting, the roads are ready to go ahead of schedule.

Parker hopes people remember to drive safely.

"I'm hoping people are going to yield to the warnings because it's still an active construction zone. I hope people are going to listen to officials and heed the speed limit signs until they can finish construction," he said.

But, for drivers like Parker and Staggs, it's been a long time coming.

"That's going to be nice and open, but with that comes speeding so definitely want everybody is going to be safe and all that stuff," she said.

The bridges will officially be open to drive on Monday afternoon after a ribbon cutting from Gov. Kay Ivey.

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