All the rain we've experienced in North Alabama is taking a toll on some of our roadways. Part of Highway 117 in DeKalb County is closed because of a landslide.
Highway 117 between Tutwiler Gap and Cool Street in Valley Head is closed. There is no definitive timeline when it will be reopened.
ALDOT has engineers working to figure out if the road will immediately need permanent repairs, or if they can do a quick fix to reopen the road until they can develop a permanent solution.
Seth Burkett, a spokesman with ALDOT, says they knew something was wrong a few days ago when they noticed the pavement beginning to crack and dip. They knew it was a problem that needed to be addressed.
“That sort of alerted us to the fact that there was some sort of geotechnical issue going on below the roadway, probably having to do with the movement of all this water that we’ve got from all this precipitation that we’ve had lately," he said.
Landslides are often difficult to detect because the problems start underground and they often go unnoticed until there's a visible crack in the road. He said mountainsides are prone to landslides.
“This is an area where we’ve had some issues before and we’ve made some repairs and corrections previously. So, it’s one we keep an eye on that we watch regularly. This is something of course as soon as it came to our attention, you know, that we had something happening.”
Both Tutwiler Gap and Cool Street are only meant for residential traffic. Burkett said you may be ticketed if you drive an 18-wheeler down those roads.