I-40 Rockslide Update, 10 December 2009
North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has released further information about progress crews are making with boulder removal on a stretch of I-40 in North Carolina near the Tennessee border.
See related article with map: https://carolinalifestyles.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/haywood-county-rock-slide/
Workers from subcontractor Janod Construction Thursday drilled on the rock face for a blast that may take place late next week.
Crews manned two drills along the face of the large rock mass along the slope. They are working back up the slope toward a natural plane (rock seam) where workers will eventually put rock bolts to stabilize the slope. This work will continue throughout the weekend and next week until the blast. The next update will be on Dec. 18, unless there is a change.
The overall project will take several months to complete.
Travelers can reach Western North Carolina via I-40 from the east and I-26 to the north and south. Exits 20 and 27 on I-40 provide access to popular destinations west of Asheville. In Tennessee, exits 432 through 451 provide access to popular destinations in southeastern Tennessee.
The detour route is 53 miles longer and takes an additional 45 minutes to an hour driving time. Motorists traveling on I-40 West should take Exit 53B (I-240 West) in Asheville and follow I-240 West to Exit 4A (I-26 West). Follow I-26 West (a North Carolina Scenic Highway) to I-81 South in Tennessee. Take I-81 South and follow it back to I-40 at mile marker 421. Eastbound motorists should use the reverse directions.
Additionally, travelers cannot take U.S. 64 from North Carolina into Tennessee due to a separate rockslide that blocked the highway near the Ocoee 2 Dam in Polk County, Tenn., about eight miles west of North Carolina. U.S. 64 will be closed for several months. Motorists are advised to take U.S. 74 to Tennessee 68 North at Ducktown through McMinn County, then onto I-75 at Sweetwater in Monroe County.
NCDOT reminds motorists to stay alert, follow instructions on highway message boards, obey the posted speed limit, leave early and travel at non-peak times when possible. Plan ahead before driving by visiting the NCDOT Traveler Information Management System Web site at www.ncdot.gov/traffictravel/ or calling 511, the state’s free travel information line, for current travel conditions.