Drivers experience easy commute during first day of Cecil Ashburn shutdown

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The city of Huntsville has been preparing for the shutdown of Cecil Ashburn and the traffic adjustments that come with it. Monday morning it finally happened and while police and the school system worked to make things run smoothly -- the real test was up to the commuters.

"Today was a test run," said Amanda Corrigan who normally commutes on Governors.

With Cecil Ashburn shut down until November, many were curious to see how the added traffic on alternate routes like Governors Dr. would impact their daily routine. "Got a couple messages about coming in early so they can avoid it, going home early," said Jeremy Davidson, who has employees coming over the mountain on Governors.

"My husband and I got up about forty-five sooner than we normally do," said Brandy Featherston who normally drives on Governors.

"We were a little nervous so we kind of got up about a half hour early," explained Corrigan.

As far as test runs go, it seems Monday morning got the green light from those we talked to -- adding only five to ten minutes to their commute and minor congestion.

"I think everybody on the road was really cautious which was a great thing to see. It was slightly heavier but not as bad as it could've been," said Featherston.

"It was slow on the beginning on the other side, the Hampton Cove side, and it was backed up more so on this side as well," observed Corrigan, though she said the middle portion of the road was moving well.

Schools prepared for the traffic. "Hampton Cove Elementary was awesome, they opened up their doors at seven for any parents that work," explained Corrigan so they could factor in the extra traffic and get there on time.

Parents prepared as well. "My daughter rides the bus in the morning and she said her bus was jammed packed, so I think it was a bunch of parents also preparing for the commute," said Featherston.

Longer green lights have been programmed by the city hoping to ease congestion. "They weren't as stacked up. Usually, they're ridiculously stacked up, in the mornings and that's even without the extra heavier traffic," Featherson observed of the cars at lights along the way.

Here's hoping Monday morning's smooth 'test run' continues for the rest of the project.

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