MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. - Monday morning was a day some residents of Marshall County have been waiting for for more than three years. Crews started work to fix Aldridge Gap Road. It has been closed since the flooding on Christmas in 2015.
You can hear the construction noise before you see it - and that's a welcome sound to people like longtime resident Ann Conley. "I'm just excited to get it open. It's about time," she said.
She and her neighbors on either side of the road washout have had to drive the long way to get to where they needed to go. Conley also worried about response time for first responders. "You know, our fire department's up the road here, like three minutes away. Our rescue that comes to us when we're down and out, they're only three minutes away. The other way is just so inconvenient," Conley explained. Response time is longer with the closure.
County leaders say the repairs required FEMA involvement and that prolonged the process. The county got FEMA funding because of all the damage from the flooding. Some Native American artifacts were found so a survey had to be done to see if there was a burial ground. There was a specific breed of bat living in the area so another survey was in order to make sure there wouldn't be an environmental issue.
Monday is the day both county leaders and folks who live in the area have been waiting for.
"I got up and got my coffee and then there goes the truck," Conley said. "It's been an exciting day."
County leaders expect the road to be open for good by Fall, but that depends a lot on the weather.