HUNTSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
815 Wheeler Ave.
Huntsville, Alabama 35801
Public Safety Media Administrator
15th Annual Trail of Tears Saturday, September 20, 2008
Huntsville, Alabama (September 15, 2008) The 15th Annual Trail of Tears will travel through Madison County on Saturday, September 20, 2008. The ride will enter Madison County on Highway 72 East at Gurley at between 8:45 and 9:00 AM and continue west into Huntsville some time between 9:15 and 9:30 AM. The ride will travel onto I-565 and continue westbound until it exits I-565 at Exit 8 and travels north on Wall Triana Highway and then west on Madison Boulevard. The Trail of Tears should begin arriving at the Old Time Pottery shopping center on Madison Boulevard between 10:00 and 10:15 AM, where it will stop for approximately an hour. The Trail of Tears ride will leave the shopping Center at 11:30 AM and travel west on Madison Boulevard, turn right to travel north on County Line Road and then turn left to travel west on Highway 72 West to Athens and on to Florence and Waterloo.
In the past the Trail of Tears rides have exited I-565 at the Madison Boulevard, Highway 20, exit. The decision to exit at Wall Triana Highway this year was implemented by the Madison Police Department to reduce congestion along Madison Boulevard east of where the ride stops. This in turn will allow citizens and riders more access to businesses in the area and reduce overall congestion caused by the ride slowing to stop at the shopping center.
Persons traveling west out of Huntsville on I-565 should plan to leave earlier than usual because all westbound on ramps to I-565 will be closed as the ride enters Huntsville. Alternate routes to reach Madison and points west once the ride enters Huntsville will be Old Madison Pike and University Drive, Highway 72 West.
Persons traveling either east or west on Highway 72 West can expect a lengthy delay between 11:45 AM and 1:00 PM as the ride makes the left turn to travel west onto Highway 72 to travel toward Athens. Alternate routes to avoid this congestion will be I-565 or Highway 72 West, south on County Line Road and east on Madison Boulevard.
The Trail of Tears is a cooperative effort between the Alabama State Troopers and all law enforcement agencies, fire departments and ambulance services along the route to insure a successful and safe event.