SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) — The signs are posted up and down Highway 31 in Spanish Fort, but not everyone gets the hint to slow it down. The major highway has been under construction since 2018 and the work isn’t done yet.
“Even though Highway 31 is open to four lanes it’s still an active construction zone,” said Spanish Fort Police Chief John Barber.
Last month the two lane highway transformed into a four-lane thoroughfare, but final paving and other aspects of the project are still ongoing. Even when Alabama Department of Transportation crews aren’t on the job, the speed limit remains the same.
“It might sometimes look like it’s wide open and there are no workers out there, but 24 hours a day 7 days a week it’s still 30 mph,” said Chief Barber.
WKRG News 5’s Blake Brown spent the afternoon with Spanish Fort Police as they crack down on drivers going above the posted speed limit. Barber blames more crashes on Highway 31 in recent weeks on drivers not obeying the speed limit and those navigating the construction zones, which used to be 45 mph along the 4-mile stretch. Officers are clocking many drivers well over 60 mph. He says he’s not just worried about other drivers safety, but also for the crews along the highway completing the work.
“Some days they’re out there laying asphalt, some days they’re out striping so you don’t know what you’re going to encounter each day, so that’s why the speed limit has maintained at 30 mph,” he added.
Work should wrap up before Christmas according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. Until then you can expect to see a lot more enforcement on Highway 31.
“The blue lights are there so when you see somebody pulled over on the side of the road hopefully you look down at your speedometer and go you need to slow down as well,” Chief Barber continued.