MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) – It’s one of the busiest highways in Alabama. Traffic on U.S. 280 has a long standing reputation for being one of the worst routes to travel for a morning and evening commute.
Construction is underway to bring some relief to those who work and live along the heavily traveled highway.
8.2 miles of Highway 280 is under construction and what’s already a headache for more drivers is described as an “obstacle course” by motorcyclist Allen Rusmiesel.
“I always expect the worst of drivers beside me, that way I’m always prepared,” said Rusmiesel. That’s his rule of the road. He’s been riding motorcycles for 30 years.
Allen says if he has to travel along Hwy 28, he likes to do it during the morning hours.
“280 seems to have a different kind of driver, lots of lane changing. I’m comfortable on the interstate but 280 is something different,” he says.
For the next 6 months, orange cones, caution signs and miles of grooved pavement will stretch along more than eight miles of the highway from Mountain Brook to Doug Baker Boulevard.
Allen says the grooved pavement doesn’t make for an easy ride for someone on a motorcycle. “It gives the bike a wobble, it doesn’t want to go in a straight line it wants to follow the grooves.”
The best way to tackle it safely is to slow down, but that could but you in a bad position with drivers on 4 wheels.
“The only thing about that it’s probably not the same speed as the cars around you so you feel a little pushed just to stay up with the traffic.”
Allen says it’s important to have an attitude of yielding, “You’re not going to win a battle with a car,” he adds.
Another thing drivers should look out for are uneven lanes.
“You don’t want to run over it parallel, you want to have a sharp angle coming off of it, that way you don’t have both tires coming off of it at the same time.”
You can’t prepare for the unexpected on the highway, but for the next six months along an 8 miles stretch of Hwy 280 be sure to pack a little patience and caution in whatever your mode of transportation is.