FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) — After more than three years of work, a historic highway in Northeast Alabama is open to traffic.
According to a Facebook post from the DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), County Road 835, known to local residents as “Old Highway 35,” was reopened on Tuesday morning.
The road was closed in February 2019 after landslides made the highway impassable.
“The substructure of the highway just gave way and basically, the entire roadbed slid off the side of Sand Mountain,” said Anthony Clifton, director of the DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency.
Clifton said the severe flooding in the spring of 2019 along with several years of deterioration, including “patch on top of patch,” eventually caused the entire road to collapse. He explained what happened in the area to be a “wet weather spring,” or water flowing down on the inside of the road until it failed.
Clifton said the road had to be completely dug out “all the way down to the base rock.”
It took around one year to completely dig out the road, then more time to fill it back – when the weather allowed for work to happen.
Clifton told News 19 that the county road department deserved thanks for creating a “long-term fix, not just a bandage.”
He also thanked the residents for their patience over the last three-and-a-half years, as they have put up with the detour out to the new Highway 35 between Rainsville and Fort Payne.