You can find it along Highway 72 East as you leave Huntsville and Head to Scottsboro. On the east bound side of 72, just before you get to Ryland Pike there’s stretch of the road’s shoulder that essentially doesn’t exist. What drivers would find if they went off the road, is a shoulder…an enbankment…that appears to be made of crumbling asphalt. In some places in this stretch of the highway, the road’s surface is several inches above the loose asphalt. “I think the state ought to come in and maybe put up a guard rail,” says Barbara Thomas.
Barbara owns a business just a few yards from the bank, and she says it should be fixed quickly, “Before somebody is killed.” Barbara says she’s seen several vehicles have accidents on this stretch of road, and the most recent was a police car. Visually, you can see that multiple vehicles have over run the edge of the road.
The complicating problem is that there’s a sharp right turn just past the problem area, and a driver who turned too soon, would end up getting caught in the loose material on the ban. Barbara Thomas says she’s seen exactly that situation, but what really scares her is drivers who cut through her store’s parking lot to avoid having to make the turn. Those drivers, she says, put her customers in danger.
Highway 72 is certainly busy, and that means plenty of cars and 18-wheeled trucks travelling at four lane speeds. What might happen if a driver makes a mistake and goes off the edge of the road and onto this sloping shoulder leaves Barbara Thomas with one thought, “I think there needs to be a guard rail, some kind of marker, something that protects people from going off the edge,” she says.
We agree, and we’re taking action and making sure ALDOT is aware of the situation, and these serious concerns.