Spanish fort police notice dangerous trend on Highway 31 as road project continues
SPANISH FORT, Alabama (WKRG) – Signs are posted along Highway 31 in Spanish Fort, but not everyone has the idea to slow down. The main highway has been under construction since 2018 and the work is not yet complete.
“Even though Highway 31 is open to four lanes, it is still an active construction area,” said Spanish Fort Police Chief John Barber.
Last month, the two-lane highway transformed into a four-lane artery, but final paving and other aspects of the project are still underway. Even when Alabama Department of Transportation crews are not on the job, the speed limit remains the same.
“It can sometimes seem like it’s wide open and there aren’t any workers there, but 24/7 it’s still 30mph,” the chef said. Barber.
Blake Brown of WKRG News 5 spent the afternoon with Spanish police in Fort as they cracked down on drivers exceeding the posted speed limit. Barber attributes more accidents on Highway 31 in recent weeks to drivers not obeying the speed limit and those navigating in construction zones, which were once at 45 mph along the 4 mile stretch . Officers point many drivers at over 60 mph. He says he’s not only worried about the safety of other drivers, but also the crews along the freeway who finish the job.
“Some days they’re there to lay asphalt, other days they’re scratching so you don’t know what you’re going to run into each day, which is why the speed limit was kept at 30mph,” he added.
The work is expected to be completed before Christmas according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. By then, you can expect to see a lot more law enforcement on Highway 31.
“The blue lights are there so when you see someone stopped on the side of the road hopefully you look at your speedometer and go off you have to slow down as well,” Chief Barber continued.