BUTLER COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - At Kendall’s Bar-B-Que Howling Good Taste, Syvlia Mitchell is on the verge of ‘howling’ over the changes taking place right now mere yards from her pick-up BBQ stand.
“Because we need traffic to actually stop here and see this establishment, the cashier explained. I think it’s going to have an impact."
ALDOT spent the better part of the day removing signs and putting up new ones. Driver used to have to stop at the top of the ramp. That’s coming to an end. New signs will encourage travelers to keep moving, forcing motorists to either turn left or right on Alabama Route 106.
If drivers want to get back on I-65 South, they will have to take a right, turnaround in one of the business parking lots and head east to re-enter 65.
ALDOT leaders say months of traffic studies suggest the change was necessary.
”Our traffic studies for that area have shown that these changes will enhance the traffic flow for that area by preventing long lines on the exit ramp," said Haley Ansley, Public Information Officer for the Alabama Department of Transportation.
Exit 114 is often used by beach-goers to make a quick stop. That sometimes causes a long line of traffic, a fact that never bothered Mitchell because she says 85 percent of business comes from interstate traffic.
“We need out-of-towners to actually see the business," Mitchell explained.
“We expect a minimum impact on the businesses in that area," Ansley said.
Mitchell understands what’s taking place but admitted it may take awhile for her to get used to it and digest it all.
ALDOT says the two-day project will cost around $30,000 when you factor in all the new signage and the small amount of concrete divider work to be completed in the near future.