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Spanish Fort emergency responders prepare for Hwy 31 construction closure

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(IMAGE:WPMI)Spanish Fort emergency responders prepare for Hwy 31 construction closure

UPDATE 3/9/19 7:51 p.m. - Spanish Fort Fire says that the road work on Highway 31 has been completed ahead of schedule.

The road in front of the fire station is now open.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Spanish Fort emergency responders and residents are preparing for the closure of busy Highway 31 due to construction.

Signs are up all along Highway 31 to warn motorists that it's officially a dead end for the weekend.

Highway 31 will be closed, just east of the entrance to the Spanish Fort Fire Department, from 9 p.m. Friday night until around 5 a.m. Monday.

The closure begins around Ember Lane, in both directions, as work on new drainage improvements begins.

A roughly 12-feet long section of roadway is being removed and replaced near Spanish Fort city hall, only feet to the right of the fire department.

"We've already made accommodations for that. The stations will just have to overlap jurisdictions to accommodate for the road closure," said Spanish Fort Fire Chief Roger Few.

Chief Few said his crews from the city's east station will handle all calls that direction, while the main location on Highway 31 will handle calls to the west.

If the call is significant enough to need crews from both stations, they'll have use I-10 and US 90.

"The contractor has assured us that he's got crews that are going to be working 24 hours a day to get the project done. So it's going to be an inconvenience but it's necessary," Chief Few said.

The drainage work is part of a plan by the Alabama Department of Transportation to widen Highway 31.

It's a project which locals say is desperately needed due to increasing traffic.

"About 3 or 4 o'clock, it's atrocious, it's hectic. And if anything goes awry on the interstate, it's awful," said Kimberly Williams, owner of a business along Highway 31.

Spanish Fort Police said to expect additional delays on expected detour routes, including I-10 and Highways 181 and 98.

"Having the ability to move more traffic will certainly help us in the long run," Chief Few said.

NBC 15 is told local residents living near Ember Lane will be allowed through.

Police encourage motorists to refrain from unnecessary travel, plan to slow down and be patient as the project is underway.