‘City left us in the dark’: Cecil Ashburn project a major headache for some homeowners

Cecil Ashburn project a major headache for some homeowners

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Some homeowners who live directly above the Cecil Ashburn expansion project are frustrated with Huntsville City leaders over the roll out of work being done. They say things are being added mid-project that are putting their homes at risk.

Donegal Drive is the last street before the road closure on Cecil Ashburn. Two weeks ago, several homeowners up the mountain say they noticed trees were being cut down in their backyard.

“They also sort of clawed away or scalped the cliff. So, now the big boulders that were there and stable are gone. We sort of wondered why they were doing that,” questioned Ashley Pallotta.

After contacting city workers, Pallotta says they found out the portion of their backyards being affected is within the easement that belongs to the city. Additionally, the work being done was to adjust some issues but was within the scope of work originally planned. More blasts, on a smaller scale, were also said to be coming.

“There’s probably about 10 feet of trees that were there that are gone. Which of course helps with sound abatement, and they’re going to be a lot closer to my house now," said Pallotta.

She says in the numerous public meetings on the expansive project, it was either never explained or never made clear the vegetation would be cleared out.

The trees and brush helped block out the roadway entirely for homeowners.

“It would be nice if they were proactive and communicating with us and maybe helping us with some sound abatement," said Pallotta.

Huntsville City leaders tell 48 News there aren’t any new blasts (small or large) planned and that the original plan is in place. They added that in an effort to be proactive, they’re holding a closed door meeting for those residents Friday.

The neighborhood meeting with City leaders is Friday, April 5 at 1 p.m. in City Hall.

“When we built this house three and a half years ago it was supposed our forever home and now I feel like we won’t even be able to enjoy our backyard anymore or our deck," added Pallotta. "It’s going to be highway right back there.”

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