North Alabama Road Builder Cecil Ashburn Dies

Mon August 06, 2012 - Southeast Edition

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) Cecil Ashburn, who founded the company that helped build some of north Alabama’s best known roadways, has died. He was 92.

A member of the Corps of Engineers in the U.S. Army during World War II, he formed a road building company along with Emmet G. “Pat” Gray in 1946. The company, Ashburn & Gray Construction, started with just one bulldozer. In about 10 years the company had grown into one of the state’s largest road builders with offices in Huntsville, Decatur and Guntersville, Ala.

His company built U.S 72, much of Huntsville’s Memorial Parkway and the runways at Huntsville International Airport.

Ashburn worked with then-Congressman Bob Jones to develop enabling legislation for the federal interstate highway system.

The Huntsville City Council in 2002 named a city road Cecil Ashburn Drive.