Residents raise concerns over proposed Fort Payne runaway truck ramp

The construction would mean demolishing many homes and businesses
WAFF 48's Savannah Sapp reporting
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 7:51 PM CDT
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FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WAFF) - Emotions are on the rise after the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) proposed plans to construct a runaway truck ramp on Highway 35 in Fort Payne.

Pro-Tem President of the Fort Payne City Council Lynn Brewer said that multiple accidents on the highway have shown cause for concern.

“There’s been a problem or hazard at the bottom of Highway 35 coming off of Lookout Mountain ever since I can remember,” Brewer said. “Trucks either lose their breaks, or they underestimate the turn there because it’s a 90-degree turn. They turn over or they hit that wall there.”

ALDOT proposed to add an emergency stop ramp approximately half a mile long. The department is only looking for feedback at this time. However, city officials confirm that the construction would lead to the demolition of homes and businesses. For Marisa Foster, owner of Foster’s Training Facility, this is not good news.

“It went from being our home every day for almost seven years now to going to a meeting and then finding out that a big truck ramp is gonna be on top of you,” Foster said.

Brewer said that the council hopes that the state will consider other options in hopes to spare homes and businesses.

“We’re hoping the state will take that into consideration to maybe take some of that property and change the angle of the curve as well,” Brewer said.

Foster hopes the very same, she has owned and operated her gym for student-athletes for seven years now and she says that years of hard work will be sacrificed if these plans continue.

“All this is from people that come together that believe in one thing. And right now, that’s what’s needed. And so I can’t be okay with it if it gets torn down,” Foster said.

ALDOT is only taking feedback on the ramp at this time and no plans for construction have been set. They stop taking comments Friday, April 28 and will reconvene with the city once a decision has been made.

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