Engineers, grad students work to find the underlying issue on Highway 231

Auburn University students are surveying and testing the rock beneath the pavement

Engineers, grad students work to find the underlying issue on Highway 231

LACEY’S SPRING, Ala. (WAFF) - Highway 231 remains closed as state workers try to figure out exactly what caused the road to slide on top of Brindlee Mountain.

A construction company cleared the pavement, and now crews are trying to determine what to do next.

“We’re working as hard as we can, as quickly as we can. We have expertise on site evaluating the situation.” said ALDOT engineer Curtis Vincent.

ALDOT engineer Curtis Vincent says, yes this road closure is inconvenient. However, taking their time is crucial to finding a permanent fix.

“We’ll have two drill teams on site from our Montgomery office doing some extensive drilling on the side of the mountain and underneath the pavement to better determine what’s happening, where the cracks are, where the cracks continue and end," Vincent said.

Auburn civil engineering grad students are also on site providing timely information to ALDOT.

“We’re trying to map the rock layers beneath the road. So, we know where the movement is occuring, but we don’t know what that material is yet. The information we’re going to collect today will give us an idea of where those rock layers are, how big they are and how deep they are," said assistant professor Jack Montgomery.

Montgomery says this is a high-profile case for engineer grad and phD students to be working on.

They have systems and testing in place to bring immediate results so ALDOT can move forward with a plan to fix the closed highway.

“This could be very costly, we wanna fix it right and fix it right the first time. We don’t need to get in a hurry to just do something. We need to do this right and so this road is stable from this point on," Vincent said.

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.