Residents claim Athens road couldn't handle emergency

There are plenty of roads all over the valley in bad shape but one in Athens also serves as an escape route for emergencies. It's the east to west connection from Brown's Ferry Nuclear Plant to get to Highway 31.

With some help, the road may be getting an overhaul for safety.

Ray Cox has lived on Nuclear Plant Road in Athens for 17 years, and for those 17 years, he's been complaining about it.

"It's dangerous, there's a lot of traffic from the plant, and there are plenty of potholes," said Cox.

There are signs all over the street that warn you of the danger. It's a narrow, two-lane, eight mile stretch of road that serves as the major evacuation route from the plant.

Residents say it's not ready for an emergency.

For years, the city has been patching and just maintaining the road because of a lack of funding. Now, Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks and other city leaders are taking notice.

Repairing the road will cost $2.5 million. Limestone County and city leaders are working to get a $2 million grant and the they will put up the rest.

"It's too important for the people that work there, for the citizens in that area that it has got to have the attention. We have got to fix this," said Mayor Marks.

A state grant will mean Athens can widen the road, fix drainage ditches, and improve the railroad crossing.

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