First phase of Hwy. 231 construction underway

The excavation process is expected to last 2 months.

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 5:42 PM
Updated: Mar 10, 2020 11:07 AM

The Alabama Department of Transportation confirmed Highway 231 will not be relocated after major cracks caused the road to shut down.

ALDOT says a landslide is what caused the major cracks on the highway.

The heavy rain we saw earlier this year caused the land under the road to move. The road cracked after so much pressure built up underneath. Now, crews plan to dig deeper in order to rebuild the road on more stable ground.

Drivers in North Alabama are starting to get impatient by the shut down.

"Really they just got to hurry up," Douglas Chaney said. "I'm just tired of all this extra driving we have to do every day."

Unfortunately, people are going to have to drive the detour for another few months as crews work to get the road fixed.

"This is just the beginning of the excavation. They've been doing this for a few days so far. There's going to be a lot more coming from out of here," Seth Burkett with ALDOT said.

ALDOT says it plans on digging at least 20 feet deep to reach more stable ground to rebuild the road.

Right now, crews are working to remove material off a 1,000 ft. portion of Highway 231. For perspective, that's almost 3 football fields. ALDOT says all the material that's being removed can fill up to 30 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Officials say the excavation process alone can take up to two months. At this time, they don't know how long the whole process will take. That's why some drivers are trying to look at the bright side of things.

"It's definitely frustrating, but I know there are a lot worse things going on in the world," Karah Brown.

ALDOT will host a public information meeting this Thursday night at 6:30 in the auditorium at Arab High School on Arabian Drive N.E. to further discuss their plan with people. They'll have representatives there to answer your questions. They also expect to have a better time frame on how long the project will last.

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