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Excavator wrecks power lines, shuts down U.S. Highway 231

U.S. Highway 231 was completely shut down for an hour Thursday morning after an excavator hit a power pole, bringing lines down across the roadway.

“A private contractor working with (the Alabama Department of Transportation) was moving some barricades and his excavators contacted our power lines that cross U.S. Highway 231,” said Brian Chandler, utilities manager for the City of Troy. “It tore them down and broke the lines, which fell across out into the highway and it broke the pole they were attached to.”

Chandler said the incident cause a temporary outage in the immediate area, although power was quickly rerouted to most of the affected area through different lines.

With live power lines on the highway though, all four lanes had to be closed from approximately 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. while the city of Troy and South Alabama Electric Cooperative de-energized the lines so that they could be moved.

Troy Police Chief Randall Barr said officers quickly set up to reroute highway traffic via Montgomery Street and North Three Notch Street.

“A couple of vehicles were struck by a power line when it came down, but no injuries were reported,” Barr said. “We called in some additional personnel to help with calls and traffic flow. We had enough to manage it until we could get some additional to help with call volume; overall, everything went pretty smooth. Of course, rerouting from a four-lane highway to two lanes made everything hectic for a while, but our folks and utilities did a good job getting things handled and getting the roads back open.”