Huntsville Police increase traffic patrols to manage Cecil Ashburn closure

HUNTSVILLE, Ala - Cecil Ashburn Drive in Huntsville is officially closed. 17,000 drivers who take that road every day now need to use alternate routes. Those detours include Governors Drive via US 431, Memorial Parkway via Hobbs Island Road, and US Highway 72 via the Eastern Bypass.

Huntsville Police have increased patrols to help manage traffic in these areas.

Barriers at each end of the closure went up at 5 in the morning and police came out right after that.

"We have someone around 8-12 officers each day for this next week or so between our traffic division out of special operations and our general patrol," Lt. Michael Johnson said.

Those officers will be assisting with the flow of traffic.

"Ensuring that people who do have crashed vehicles we get them off the road as quickly as possible," he said.

They want people to get off the road as quickly as possible because there are a lot more cars on these alternate routes.

"We have noticed a very noticeable impact on northbound traffic on the Parkway from Hobbs Island and a noticeable impact on volume of traffic going over the mountain on Governors Drive," he said.

He says the increase in drivers also increases the likelihood of fender benders. So, they're asking people to drive safely without distractions in the vehicle.

"We want people to put their phones down and pay attention to their following distance. It is even more critical now because of the volume of traffic that will be on Governors Drive and the parkway from Hobbs Island and of course 72."

There were two minor crashes Monday morning.

Johnson says this week only a small portion of their focus will be traffic enforcement, but that could change next week depending on how people drive on the alternate routes.

City engineers are monitoring traffic and taking note of how many drivers are using each route. After counting the number of cars that hit the road Monday morning, they are encouraging more people to use the Hobbs Island via US Highway 72 route.

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