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Rock Slide Cleanup On I-40 Continues Through The Week


The section of Interstate 40 closed by a mudslide near the Tennessee state line will remain shut down through at least Thursday.

David Uchiyama of the North Carolina Department of Transportation says it will then reopen with one lane closed in both directions for six to eight weeks.

“Immediately, NCDOT crews were out there and have been over the weekend, clearing away the debris, starting by removing trees from the top," Uchiyama said. "Today, they excavated at the very very top of the slide, pushing down those rocks and some dirt. Meanwhile, other crews are establishing a way for traffic to get on through.”

Uchiyama says a large amount of rainfall last week is likely the cause of the rock slide.

“Western North Carolina has been inundated by rain, some specific spots set records for rain in the year 2018. After a week of rain, the rain definitely had an impact on this slide.”

In 2009, a major rockslide on I-40 closed the highway for six months. As for safety on the state’s highways that are at risk for rock, land and mudslides, Uchiyama says the DOT monitors sections of North Carolina highways at risk on a daily basis.

He also says improvements are scheduled at several unspecified locations over the next 20 years.