"Sweet Home Alabama" town in traffic turmoil

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EUFAULA, Ala. (AP) — Travelers heading through southeast Alabama to Florida Panhandle beaches have a four-lane road the entire way except for a half-mile stretch in Eufaula that is lined with Southern mansions and giant oaks.

Now the town finds itself in a battle of Southern charm vs. traffic congestion as the state makes plans to widen that two-lane section of U.S. 431 and remove some trees.

City officials and historic preservationists say it would strike a huge blow to the city's heritage — and the small but lucrative tourism industry that springs from it.

State Transportation Director John Cooper says widening is the only option the state can afford. Gov. Robert Bentley calls the two-lane road a bottleneck, but he says finding a solution will be tough.

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