Skip to main content

Landslide closes I-40 in Haywood County, NC

Some big news this week as a rock slide at Interstate 40 just inside North Carolina near the Tennessee line has closed the highway indefinitely.

The rock side occurred at around 2 am on Sunday, October 25th. Two vehicles and an 18 wheeler were damaged as a result but fortunately no major injuries or fatalities were reported.

Story: Rock slide forces closure of I-40 in Haywood County --WSPA

NCDOT immediately issued a detour for Interstate traffic. The official detour is:

Motorists traveling on I-40 West are advised to take I-240 West, Exit 53B. Follow I-240 West to Exit 4A, I-26 West. Follow I-26 West (a North Carolina Scenic Highway) to I-81 South. Take I-81 South and follow back to I-40, Mile Marker 421, in Tennessee. This route is 53 miles longer than I-40.

Those coming from Tennessee into North Carolina are advised to follow the same route but in reverse.

Another alternative for travelers to/from Winston-Salem, NC and points East
.

From Winston-Salem. Take US 52 North to I-74 West (To I-77) in Mt. Airy. Follow I-74 West to I-77 North. Take I-77 North into Virginia and I-81 in Wytheville. From there, I-81 South from Wytheville to I-40 West near Knoxville.

If you are heading from Tennessee, follow the directions in reverse.

This route (minus stops) will only add about 10-15 minutes to your trip.

NCDOT has traveler updates available here.

Removal of the debris and temporary reconstruction could take three months if not longer. The rock slide was triggered at the top of a hillside most likely triggered by decades worth of freezes and thaws on the landscape.

The removal process will first clear rocks from the bottom (I-40 pavement) and middle areas of the slide. This will also include some blasting of large boulders - some the side of small homes. These small rocks and other fill will be used to construct a ramp that will allow heavy equipment by way of a pulley system to the top of the slide. Once that is done, the equipment will remove the boulders from the top of the slide to the bottom.

After that is completed, temporary pavement will be placed on the highway, and I-40 will be re-opened. Permanent pavement along with reconstruction of a retaining wall and other safety walls will continue in the spring. Improving safety features and strengthening of the hillside will most certainly be an ongoing process.

Story: Engineers develop plan to clear I-40 rock slide ---WRAL-TV

There are already concerns that the clean-up and closure could take longer than three months. A definite timetable has yet to be established by the DOT. In addition, winter is forthcoming and depending on how much freeze/thaw, snow or ice, and other factors could trigger more slides further delaying the process.

Story: Clearing rock slide could take longer than expected ---WRAL-TV

Be sure to follow the Asheville Citizen-Times for updated coverage on the rock slide.

Interstate 40 through this area of North Carolina is very rugged and is one of the most dangerous and damage-prone stretches of Interstate within North Carolina, and the entire interstate system.

In July 1997, a rock slide closed the Interstate for three months. In 2004, as a result of Hurricane Ivan, nearly 150 feet of eastbound I-40 eroded into the Pigeon River closing the highway for months. Another slide in 1985 closed the Interstate for nine months.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley

The original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh

Firebaugh is a city located on the San Joaquin River of western Fresno County.  Firebaugh is one of the oldest American communities in San Joaquin Valley having been settled as the location of Firebaugh's Ferry in 1854.  Traditionally Firebaugh has been served by California State Route 33 which was one of the original Sign State Routes announced during August 1934.  In modern times California State Route 33 is aligned through Firebaugh on N Street.  Originally California State Route 33 headed southbound passed through Firebaugh via; N Street, 8th Street, O Street, 12th Street, Nees Avenue and Washoe Avenue.  The blog cover depicts early California State Route 33 near Firebaugh crossing over a one-lane canal bridge.  The image below is from the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which depicts the original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh. Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh The community of Firebaugh is named in honor of Andr

Driving the Watkins Glen Historic Road Course - New York

  Situated at the south end of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, Watkins Glen is well known for wineries along Seneca Lake and waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park . But one thing that gives the town much renown is its connection to the world of auto racing. The raceway at Watkins Glen Internationa l holds a number of big races every year, such as Six Hours at the Glen and the NASCAR Cup Series . The history of auto racing at Watkins Glen starts during the 1940s when the race followed a course on local roads and also through the streets of downtown Watkins Glen. It's a course that you can follow today, preferably at a more moderate speed than the auto racers of yore raced at. Let's explore the history of the original course, how it came to by and why it is no more. Organized races through the village of Watkins Glen and surrounding roads were first proposed and started by Cameron R. Argetsinger in 1948, marking the beginning of post-war sports car