Major changes planned to improve Governors Drive in Huntsville

The Alabama Department of Transportation says on Sunday, June 9th, crews will start repaving Highway 431 from Old Big Cove Road to Bassett Street.

Posted: Jun 5, 2019 5:19 PM
Updated: Jun 5, 2019 6:49 PM

Some major changes are coming to Governors Drive that are sure to impact drivers in Huntsville, especially since the Cecil Ashburn Drive project is still underway.

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) says on Sunday, it will start repaving Highway 431 from Old Big Cove Road to Bassett Street.

WAAY 31 found out why the work is starting now, and how long it will take.

ALDOT said the paving has to be done in a certain temperature. It can't be done when it's cool outside, so they'll pave at night, now that school is out for summer.

"I know I speak for a lot of people over in the Hampton Cove area. It's not going to be good, so it's probably going to add another 45 minutes at least to work," said Jay Griffith, who frequently drives Highway 431.

Jay Griffith takes Highway 431 every day to get home.

With Cecil Ashburn Drive closed and the state now announcing it's repaving Governors Drive, Griffith feared his commute was about to get even longer. Then, we told him crews would only resurface at night, and lane closures would not be happening during peak drive times.

"I think that certainly will help. The traffic is nowhere near the same," said Griffith.

Seth Burkett with the Alabama Department of Transportation said the primary goal is to have fewer weather-related wrecks.

"With people slipping when it's raining, you know, hydroplaning, things like that, so we wanted to try and address that," said Burkett.

Crews will use a special asphalt mix called open-graded friction course. It allows rainwater to seep directly into the ground instead of sitting on top of the road.

Burkett said to keep up with the city's demand, crews have to make sure the foundation is safe.

"The Huntsville area is growing pretty rapidly, and all of that requires development of our infrastructure," said Burkett.

Burkett said this type of resurfacing is temperature-sensitive and can only be done during a specific time of year. He says the project should be done before school starts in August, and people will only see one-lane road closures at night. There will be no extra delays during the day.

Starting Sunday, if you're traveling northbound on Highway 431 into Huntsville, traffic will be down to one lane from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Southbound traffic going towards Hampton Cove will be down to one lane from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The work will be done Sunday through Thursday evenings.

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