Deputies monitoring Highway 231 detours for speeding drivers

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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - Road closures have many trickle-down effects, from traffic to additional accidents. For some drivers, it feels like Highway  231 has been closed for an eternity.

“Although it feels like longer, we've only been dealing with this Highway 231 detour for a week,” explained Mike Swafford, spokesperson for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.

WHNT News 19’s Dallas Parker rode along with a couple of Morgan County sheriff's deputies and they caught a fair share of drivers making up for the lost time.

“This morning we had a woman doing 61 in a 15," Swafford added. Especially near Union Hill School, where the road winds and could be dangerous.

"That whole road is 45 miles an hour. And people will go in and out of those curves down the mountain. 60 miles an hour isn't anything,” explained Deputy Jonathan Wynne. Some drivers were ticketed, others let off with a warning.

“We've got a lot of people traveling on these roads,” Wynne added. “Some people have never been on these roads before the detour.”

Swafford said patrolling the detour is a full-time job now.

“It starts off in the morning with school traffic being a big burden, we're able to get the school traffic in and out so they can start their day,” he said. “Then throughout the day, it's just speeders." Deputies are posted on several points of the Highway 231 detour route.

The sheriff's office says it's better to be stopped by a deputy than stopped by a collision.

“The biggest thing is these roads aren't built or designed for a high rate of speed,” said Swafford. “Because once an accident happens on this route, it shuts the whole thing down.”

Deputies plan to continue monitoring the routes to ensure road safety, especially near schools on the detour routes.

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