Arab businesses impacted by Highway 231 closure

Northeast Alabama
Data pix.

ARAB, Ala. - The closure of Highway 231 in Lacey’s Spring has drivers frustrated, but it is also having a negative impact on businesses in Arab.

Owner of Styles by Stephanie, Stephanie Aldridge said her walk-in business has dropped 50% since the closure.

“It’s a ghost town around here. Normally around four, you’d see all kinds of traffic and some of them would stop in for a haircut. You don’t see that right now,” said Aldridge.

Aldridge told WHNT News 19 the Highway 231 closure just 10 miles from her shop is slowing business down.

“A lot of my clients work in Huntsville and normally they would come in after work, it’s just so late them getting home, they don’t want to come in after work. Some of them are saying it’s taking an hour and half, two hours just to get home, and so I’m having to book them on Saturdays. I even thought about working on Sundays just to get them where they can come in and get their hair done,” said Aldridge.

Aldridge said the flower and gift shop next door was also impacted one of the busiest days of the year for a florist.

“During Valentine’s Day next door, they deliver flowers. As far as their deliveries, they had to go a different route too so it took longer,” said Aldridge

Briana Gibbs, Aldridge’s daughter, said her husband works in Huntsville. Because of the closure, he has to drive an extra hour each day. “I don’t know how long it will take but I hope it doesn’t take too long. It’s more gas, more miles on his truck, just having to go through all that and around it,” said Gibbs.

Aldridge told WHNT News 19 she hopes folks will continue using local businesses like hers despite the inconvenience. As a school bus driver, she also encourages drivers to have patience and be safe throughout detours.

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