Completion of 431 Delayed - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Russell County

Completion of 431 Delayed

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) -  It has been called one of the deadliest stretches of road in the country.

A 16 mile stretch of 431 through Russell County is the only part of the entire highway that's still two lanes.

"I witnessed several accidents on this road and most of them were caused by people being in a hurry or the condition of the road before being real curvy and narrow and very limited places to pass," said Bryan Beach, the owner of Hippy Dippy Ice Cream and Country Store on 431.

For the past 5 years, the Alabama DOT has been working to erase 431's bad reputation by widening the remainder to four lanes

It was supposed to be finished by the end of the year but now that's changed.

So what's causing the delay? Alabama DOT officials say an eight mile of stretch of road from Russell County to the Barbour County line needed more work.

In a statement to News Leader Nine, Tony Harris, a spokesman for the Alabama DOT explains,

"Earlier this year, a slide caused a construction setback and the solution to the slide ultimately required a realignment of the roadway along part of that segment of the highway. The slide required engineering studies and redesign of that segment of roadway, and then required additional right-of-way to be purchased...We estimate only about six months of lost time."

Residents think it's worth the wait.

"I really don't have a problem with the delay as long as it's saving lives and keeping the traffic under control. It can take ten years and it wouldn't bother me a bit," Beach said.

DOT officials say the last four lane segment of 431 will be ready to carry traffic in May of 2010.

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