If you’ve traveled across the Causeway – Alabama Highway 9 – between Centre and Cedar Bluff over the last few days you may’ve encountered some “longer than normal” wait times. Crews are currently performing milling work in preparation for a paving project along a five mile stretch of road in that area.
On Thursday afternoon, WEIS Radio News clocked wait times in excess of 30 to 40 minutes, and we’ve received complaints from motorists having to wait in excess of 50 minutes. The Cherokee County School Board sent out a message on Thursday afternoon informing parents that buses would be delayed due to the heavy traffic situation.
We reached out to the Alabama Department of Transportation, and late Thursday, received not one, but two e-mails from ALDOT North Region Public Information Officer Seth Burkett, with the first one reading as follows:
“We’ll look into it further, but our personnel have already timed the wait times many times. Average waits during heavy traffic are typically less than 15 minutes. The entire queue of traffic is released each time, rather than limiting it to a certain number of vehicles. It’s possible some motorists may experience longer waits if they happen to get queued up while the milling machine is being moved back to its parking area.”
He also asked if those excessive waits were “on a particular day and time,” – adding that the information would be helpful.
A few moments later, a second e-mail arrived, reading:
“To be clear, I’m saying that’s what our people observed when they timed it. I’m certainly not saying people have not experienced longer waits, just that that is not typical based on what we have observed, and is something we need to look into further. Delays are to be expected anytime a two-lane route is temporarily reduced to one-lane, but that would be longer than expected. To anyone who has experienced those kind of waits, please extend our apologies.”
WEIS Radio employees have personally experienced delays of more than 40 minutes at that location and we will continue to monitor, and time – the flow of traffic at different points in time and report that information to the public. We also encourage you to respond to the poll posted on our news site at weisradio.com and in the comment section on our Facebook page.
Allow yourself plenty of additional time to get to and from wherever you may be going and make sure you have plenty of fuel in your vehicle in the event you get stuck in traffic.
To receive traffic updates from WEIS, text the keyword ROAD1 to 77000.
Please exercise caution when traveling in that area.