For several years ALDOT had been patching two sections of roadway on a hill between Talladega and Winterboro, with the ground underneath the roadway continuing to gradually sink lower. Testing confirmed the existence of not one, but two underground sinkholes at the site and the need for an emergency declaration to conduct repairs.
The original 21-day repair window turned into 33 days as ALDOT’s contractor, Newell Roadbuilders of Hope Hull, uncovered larger than anticipated problem areas underground. Newell’s employees worked around the clock to get the job done, with local suppliers doing their part to help create a solid foundation underneath the four-lane highway.
Alabama is one of the 10 states with the greatest number of sinkholes, thanks to the limestone base underneath much of the state. Our area has had its share of sinkholes that have suddenly and dramatically collapsed, leaving gaping holes in the landscape.
With an estimated 10,000 vehicles per day traveling the highway, the state did the right thing by making this a round-the-clock job to make the roadway safe as quickly as possible.