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Red Bay citizens concerned about safety on Hwy. 24

RED BAY – A concerned citizen addressed the Red Bay City Council on Monday about several safety issues with the new section of Alabama 24 that reroutes traffic coming into the city of Red Bay.

Red Bay resident Joyce Davis told council members she thinks the lack of signage and clear-cut directions telling motorists where to turn could prove to be a serious problem.

“I have driven on the new road many times and there are a lot of things about it that make me scared,” Davis said.

“I’m afraid we’ll have a lot of people hurt or killed if we don’t have this fixed. I know of five other people who have become quite lost and at least three of these people have lived here their whole lives, so I know it has to be confusing to those who aren’t from here.”

The section of road Davis referred to was the newly opened portion that reroutes westbound traffic starting near the Red Bay Freewill Baptist Church on Alabama 24 and loops traffic around to Alabama 19 where motorists must then turn right to get back to the old Alabama 24 that leads into the downtown area of Red Bay.

Likewise, traffic traveling east from Red Bay must follow Alabama 19 until the turn off to get back on the new section of Alabama 24.

Davis said she felt a sign saying “Russellville” was needed just over the bridge on Alabama 19 to let motorists know exactly where to turn to get back on Alabama 24 east.

She also said the merge sign currently placed on Alabama 19 was confusing.

Red Bay Mayor Bobby Forsythe told Davis that city officials had been working on the road issues since the new section was opened the second week of May.

“We have been working, talking and putting much time into getting better barricades and more signage but so far all we have gotten is promises,” Forsythe said.

“We want you to know that we do work on this daily and will continue to make sure our residents remain safe.”

Councilman Brad Bolton said some of the worst issues are with tractor truck drivers who are following GPS directions instead of the signs and are getting lost on the city’s back roads.

“We’ve asked for the truck traffic sign to be moved but it all has to go through a chain of command,” Bolton said. “It’s just taking some time.”

Forsythe said while some of the traffic issues are being worked out, residents should just remain alert when traveling on the new road.

“The Lord has been good to us in that we haven’t had a fatality since the road has opened, which we’ve been told is normal in this kind of situation,” Forsythe said. “We just urge everyone to be cautious.”