Runaway Truck Ramp Repairs in Guntersville

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ALDOT crews are doing some work at one end of a 1.5 mile stretch of Highway 431 in Guntersville which has been the scene of several car wrecks in recent months.

For months, the runaway truck ramp at the bottom of Sand Mountain across from Guntersville High School has not been easy to spot, overgrown with grass and weeds.

It is closed for the next week while workers repair it to make sure it's ready in case of emergency.

"We're going to recondition it," First Division engineer Johnny Harris said.

"It's been there for a number of years and it's tended to get a little deteriorated with excess debris and dirt and we're just going to remove the material, take it offsite, clean it, screen it, and bring it back and reinstall it at the proper depth where it will function as it was originally designed."

Harris said he thinks the emergency exit has gone without significant work for at least 20 years.

"This is probably the first time that we've gone to this extreme in removing this material and basically cleaning it and washing it, but it doesn't tend to need it that often," he said.

The engineers don't know every time it is used, but periodic maintenance to clean tracks show there is some use.

"Certainly this is a very valuable asset to the roadway system and we hope it's never used but it's there just if it is needed, it is something that can be used."

The reconditioning will cost between $10,000 and $15,000, with several thousand dollars specifically designated for cleaning the material.

Crews said it should take a couple of days to clear out all the material, and they hope to have the work completed with the ramp reopened in about a week.

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