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Detours on County Road 42 causing confusion for motorists

A portion of County Road 42 in Jemison shut down on Monday as part of a continued resurfacing project, causing some detour confusion for motorists.

Although the entire road is not closed, traffic is being detoured from the area where a culvert over Yellow Leaf Creek is being replaced for the next three weeks.

“What we are seeing is people are not paying attention to the detour signs that are posted,” Chilton County engineer Tony Wearren said. “We have stood at the site of where the culvert is being replaced and watched as cars have essentially ignored the detour signs and driven through the barricades put up until they reach the area where the culvert is being replaced and realize they have to turn around.”

The culvert is located between County Road 71 and County Road 48.

While the construction is taking place, no traffic is allowed through that portion of the roadway.

Wearren said detour signs were uncovered and barricades near the project were put up during the evening hours of March 13 before the project started on Monday.

“Chilton Contractors is responsible for the installation and placement of the detour signs,” Wearren said. “They went out on Sunday night before the project started on Monday and took off the covers to the detour signs and put up the barricades for motorists who would be traveling on the road on Monday.”

Wearren said motorists traveling on U.S. Highway 31 in both directions should see detour signs prior to the intersection of County Road 42 telling them that a detour has been set up on County Road 51.

“When you travel down County Road 51 and come to County Road 44 near Jemison Elementary School, you will also see the detour route,” Wearren said. “You can then turn onto County Road 42, which puts you near Interstate 65.”

Wearren said there is also a gap near the barricade where motorists have been attempting to drive past, but the barricade is an attempt to protect traffic from driving up to where the culvert is being replaced.

“The barricade is up for a reason, but we are seeing cars trying to drive through the barricade,” Wearren said.

After the culvert portion of the project is finished, the road will be re-opened and the remainder of the paving on the project will begin.

Work began on the road on Feb. 4, and the resurfacing project was allowed 90 working days to complete, according to ALDOT’s website.

On working day projects, the contractor will not be charged time for issues that prevent work beyond the contractor’s control (examples are rain, too wet, material temperature restrictions, holidays, etc).

According to an ALDOT representative in 2015, the project was estimated to be completed by the summer of 2016.

The length of the entire resurfacing project is 4.341 miles.