Huntsville city leaders promising Cecil Ashburn to reopen on Halloween

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Right now, workers are repaving a busy section of road in Jones Valley. And Huntsville city leaders are promising repaving Carl T. Jones Drive will be done when they reopen Cecil Ashburn Drive next month.

City leaders say they approved $5.3 million to repave Carl T Jones and a few other streets in the city.

Neighbors who live right off Cecil Ashburn Drive say it’ll be a welcome relief when the mountain road reopens.

“We didn’t really know how spoiled we were until they closed it,” Owens Cross Roads resident Joann Payne said.

Since the barricades went up on Cecil Ashburn, commuters in Owens Cross Roads have had months to figure out the best times to leave home.

“There’s a 10-minute window in there, and if you miss it, you’re in traffic,” Owens Cross Roads resident Matt Kruse said.

Retired homeowners say they skip the morning rush hour. Others admit taking Governors Drive tacks on more time to their commute.

“I’d say it doubles the trip over the mountain. From roughly 20 to 40 minutes,” Kruse said.

The rest of September will likely be a slower trip down Carl T Jones. Huntsville city leaders are promising eight more weeks until they can reopen Cecil Ashburn Drive.

“They say they’re on schedule, maybe even ahead of schedule. I think they’re doing a really good job,” Payne said.

“They’ve had some good weather. So I think also the incentive the city offered also helped to get it done,” Kruse said.

Huntsville city leaders say it’ll take just under two months to finish the repaving on Carl T Jones. They’re counting on that project being done by the time they reopen two lanes of Cecil Ashburn on Halloween.

“People going to work, it’s going to be great for them. It’s going to alleviate a lot of traffic on 431 and Old Big Cove as well,” Payne said.

The city of Huntsville is offering the contractor, Carcel and G up to a $2 million bonus for finishing Cecil Ashburn by May 2020.

The rest of this month, workers will be putting in a gas line, water line, and electrical work. In October, they plan to finish the paving of the two lanes over the mountain.

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