Roadways reopen in Selma after movie filming concludes
Published 6:48 pm Friday, June 27, 2014
Access to all of downtown Selma was restored early Friday morning.
Alabama Department of Transportation employees spent Friday returning street signs, traffic lights and other road equipment back to their places after removing them early this week to help the “Selma” movie crew recreate the 1960s. ALDOT district manager Rex Thompson said it took a total of four hours to both remove and return the road items to the streets of downtown Selma, a process familiar to ALDOT workers.
“It doesn’t get any easier, and it certainly doesn’t get any safer,” Thompson said.
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Thompson said the crew had go through a similar procedure when former President Bill Clinton visited Selma in 2000 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Bloody Sunday during the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.
“One of the major things that we see in our industry now is texting, talking on the cell phone, being on iPads and stuff of that nature,” Thompson said. “People are doing a lot, but they’re doing everything but driving.”
The crew works to avoid those dangers by displaying traffic control signs and wearing clothing that makes them more visible to drivers.
“Everybody has to watch out for everybody else,” Thompson said. “You have to make sure that you’re highly visible and that you have signs giving advanced warning, telling people you’re out there working.”
According to an ALDOT employee, the road service contributed 100 cones, six barricades and six stop signs this week More cones were used to block off sections of Water Avenue, Broad Street, Washington Street and the entire Edmund Pettus Bridge.
More than 30 Selma Police Department personnel , law enforcement officers and crossing guards were working alongside the ALDOT to maintain traffic patterns downtown.
Selma Chief of Police William Riley said.
“Everything went well,” Riley said. “I do understand that there were a few who were inconvenienced by going around the long way, but overall for us nothing major occurred.”
Riley said he appreciates the cooperation he received from the Selma community.
“We appreciate the patience of all the citizens and businesses that were [temporally] closed,” Riley said.