Our View: ‘Fast-track’ should minimize pain of detours
The Alabama Department of Transportation has pledged to “fast-track” a project hoped to provide a permanent fix for a sinkhole problem that will be shutting down a four-lane section of Alabama 21 between Winterboro and Mardisville for about five weeks.

Plans call for round-the-clock work once contractors are in place. That should begin by the end of July, and could continue for up to five weeks.

Repeated attempts to remedy subsidence in the roadway over the past few years have given temporary relief, but hopes that the ground would stabilize have been in vain. Drivers are noticing that the roadway has dropped again since the last attempt to smooth the highway.

More than an expensive nuisance, a sinkhole in Florida earlier this year served as a reminder that they are dangerous when a man fell into a sinkhole that opened under his bedroom, never to be seen again. Sinkholes occur worldwide, can occur quickly or gradually, and can occur through man-made activity or completely naturally. They are fairly common where limestone or other carbonate rock lies below the land surface, as it does in much of Alabama — but no less frightening.

We’re pleased to see the state taking action to manage the problem as quickly as possible to protect public safety.

No one likes a detour, but we hope drivers will plan alternate routes and use patience and caution while the work takes place. And we do appreciate the promise of a “fast-track” plan. That will help.

© 2013