Drivers react to Highway 231 reopening after 7 months of repairs

A portion of Highway 231 is repaired and back to normal after heavy rain in February caused cracks to form in the Morgan County road, keeping it closed for longer than seven months.

Posted: Sep 28, 2020 10:07 PM
Updated: Sep 28, 2020 11:00 PM

We are hearing from drivers after a main road in North Alabama reopened on Monday.

A portion of Highway 231 is repaired and back to normal after heavy rain in February caused cracks to form in the Morgan County road, keeping it closed for longer than seven months.

Several drivers said the closure just made travel time longer, but one woman told WAAY 31's Casey Albritton it kept customers from eating at her restaurant.

"Having to add that extra 20 minutes to and from is just a real pain," said resident, Crystal Sierra.

Crystal Sierra says when Highway 231 shut down back in fFebruary, it made life difficult.

"It just adds a lot of frustration and extra time. Things you don't have a whole lot of time for," said Sierra.

Aierra says she used to travel on Highway 231 several times a week.

"We travel often to do doctor's appointments, I have four children still at home, so some of them see specialists," said Sierra.

The closure also kept customers from eating at her restaurant, called Sierra's Mexicanisimo.

"They get off of work in the afternoons and they would do the detour home, and they were exhausted, so they weren't trying to come out and do dinner with us," said Sierra.

Sierra isn't the only one who's had issues with the road being detoured for repairs.

"It was pretty bad because it would take an extra 45 minutes to get there," said resident, Robert, Mcauliffe.

Robert Mcauliffe said the detour was always backed up.

"We actually bought land down on 36 and it was making 36 heavily traveled," said Mcauliffe.

The project was scheduled to be completed by December 2, but the Alabama Department of Transportation spent about $4.2 million on equipment and materials to get the project done ahead of schedule.

"We are just so thrilled to have Highway 231 open and going," said Sierra.

The Alabama Department of Transportations says temporary single lane closures could be possible in the future,

An incentive was made for the project to be finished early. The contractor, Brasfield and Gorrie of Birmingham, will now receive nearly $2.5 million for finishing more than two months before the deadline.

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