Highway 231 between Huntsville and Morgan County is busy. That of course means plenty of traffic for the bridges that cross the Tennessee River. For drivers travelling north toward Huntsville there's a problem. "It's the dip there as you merge on to the bridge. Where it goes from asphalt to concrete," says James Thomas.
He's talking about the road where it connects to the bridge. The road actually dips right before it connects with the bridge, and forms your basic ski jump. You can watch cars and trucks bouncing as they leave the road and move on to the surface of the bridge. "In just a personal vehicle it's not so bad, but if you're towing something, it's a pretty good jolt as you go across," says Thomas.
What concerns him the most is what the jolt does to vehicles pulling light trailers. They don't just bounce, the trailers appear to actually leave the road's surface. James Thomas says that is definitely not good. "Because to me it's a concern. if a person, perhaps fails to secure a load properly...that good jolt could possibly cause something to come loose," says James.
The other problem with the bounce as you get on to the bridge, some drivers seemed to be startled. We saw one truck carrying a car, bounce at the offending spot, and then the driver reacted by hitting his brakes. The bottom line says James Thomas, the state needs to do some re-paving and make sure there's no area where vehicles are jolted as badly as they are at the Tennessee River Bridge.
We're taking action and taking that request to the Alabama Department of Transportation. Things that startle drivers, and cause vehicles to bounce off the road's surface are definitely not desirable.