HUNTSVILLE, AL. March 18 2010- The state will close a 16-mile section of northbound Interstate 65 between Lacon and Decatur on Thursday because of a sinkhole found near Hartselle on Friday.
Northbound lanes will be closed at 9 a.m. between Exit 318 at Lacon and Vinemont and Exit 334 at Decatur and Priceville, according to a news release this afternoon from state trooper spokesman Curtis Summerville.
That portion of I-65 will be closed until further notice because of the sinkhole found about two miles north of the Hartselle exit on Friday.
The state Department of Transportation had closed the northbound, outside lane of I-65 north of Hartselle on Friday after finding the sinkhole on the road shoulder.
The DOT on Friday said it planned to repair the shoulder but didn’t know how long the engineering assessment and repairs would take.
During the closure, northbound traffic will exit at the Lacon and Vinemont onto U.S. 31 north. Motorists will follow U.S. 31 through Falkville and Hartselle before coming to Alabama 67 (Beltline Road) in Decatur.
Motorists will turn right onto Alabama 67 south until they reach I-65 at the Decatur and Priceville exit.
All northbound entrance ramps between the two exits will be closed. They are Exit 322 at Falkville, Exit 325 at Thompson Road in Hartselle and Exit 328 at Alabama 36 in Hartselle.
State troopers are encouraging motorists to drive with caution and not to attempt to remove or travel around any barricades.
Motorists can dial *HP (*47) toll-free on their cell phones to report road emergencies to the nearest state trooper post.