26
Oct
09

Rockslide blocks highway at N.C./Tenn. border

A massive rockslide that happened early Sunday has blocked a portion of Interstate 40 in both directions.

The blockage occurred at mile marker 2.6 in North Carolina, near the Tennessee state line. Both east and westbound lanes are blocked.

Authorities discovered the rock slide just after 2 a.m. after a driver notified them of being struck by falling rock.

The rubble from the slide is 50 feet high and stretches at least 100 feet long. Authorities say there were wrecks with minor injuries relating to this incident.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation and North Carolina Department of Transportation have set up barriers to reroute traffic. Drivers traveling west to Tennessee should take I-40 West to I-240 West in Asheville, then to I-26 West. Follow I-26 West from Asheville to I-81 South in Tennessee, back to I-40. Eastbound motorists will follow the reverse directions.

Drivers may also take Highway 25-70 from Newport into North Carolina.

Engineers on site are initially estimating several months to complete the cleanup and have traffic flow back to normal. Crews will have to work from the top of the rubble, down to the bottom.

At the Pilot gas station off exit 417 in Dandridge, many drivers said Sunday they were unaware of the closure. Others  said they had experienced it firsthand.

“I was a little annoyed. I mean, it’s a natural occurrence. Things happen but I was a little annoyed,” said Chuck Summerville.11379193_BG2

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