ALDOT crews work on road destroyed by storm

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BREMEN – Mary Williams was happy on Friday afternoon when work crews from the Alabama Department of Transportation made the Mandy Williams Road near Sipsey passable. The storms on Easter Sunday washed out about a 100-foot section of the road over Big Branch. 

The 84-year-old Williams is the oldest resident in the affected community. "I haven't been doing anything since the road washed out," she said as she smiled. "I just "rare'd" back watching television."

Williams is glad the road was repaired so quickly. "What if one of our houses caught on fire or we needed an ambulance," she said. They would not have been able to reach the community, according to Williams.

Williams has had health problems in the past, but she is doing well physically now.

Rep. Connie Rowe said that Commissioner Stephen Aderholt was on the scene on Sunday night and reached out to her about the situation. "I got on the phone with ALDOT and asked how many months it would take to get the road repaired," she said. ALDOT told them they would have boots on the ground Tuesday afternoon, and they did.

Twenty workmen put in long hours to get the road passable, according to a member of the crew who chose not to give his name.

"They did this in three days, and it's been an incredible amount of work," Rowe said.

The crew will be back on Monday morning to do some more finishing work so that Stephen Aderholt's crew can pave the section of road.

James Brown, who is the West Central Region Engineer for ALDOT, was on hand Friday afternoon. "We came in here to try and restore it for Walker County Engineer Mike Short, and District 4 Commissioner Stephen Aderholt," Brown said. "This is a good crew, and they've worked really hard to get this done."

"Gov. Kay Ivy and Transportation Director John Cooper was generous enough to let us come and do this for the county and Rep. Connie Rowe, and we were glad to do it," he said. 

"Rep. Rowe needs to be thanked for her response on this issue," Aderholt said. "She used her contacts to make this happen in the timely manner that it has happened. I appreciate her."

Aderholt worked with a private property owner in the area to create a temporary access road so residents could get back and forth.

"Commissioner Aderholt has been on top of this since the collapse was discovered Monday morning," Rowe said.