MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - We’re covering your community in Marshall County where Aldridge Gap Road is finally open. It took more than three years to finish the construction project.
Aldridge Gap Road was closed for 943 days, but construction crews only worked 24 days to complete the road. We talked with leaders to found out what some of the big holdups were.
“We ran into some hiccups such as environmental studies, foreign species studies, native artifact studies so it took a long time,” said former county commissioner Bill Strickland.
“Federal got involved at first they thought there were some Native American burial grounds here and they found out they’re just some artifacts and there’s always going to be. Then they found a specific type of bat that was living in the area and we didn’t want to interfere with the bat population and they found out it wasn’t specific just to this area,” said Marshall County Commissioner Ronny Shumate.
Former county commissioner Strickland who oversaw this project from the beginning back in 2015 after historic floods destroyed the previous section of the road says it shouldn’t have taken so long to get the approval.
“This is what we wanted, a common sense fact factor would be to take the curve out and move it to where it is today. Perfect location,” said Strickland.
Even Marshall County engineer Bob Pirando says he knew more than 900 days ago fixing this old portion of the road wasn’t an option.
“It was unstable to begin with, basically it should have never have been built to that steep of a slope,” said Pirando.
Crews worked a total of 24 days to move all the rock and dirt to make this 800-foot section of road safe for you to travel on. Members of the Marshall County Commission set aside $280,000 for this project, and they came $40,000 under budget.