I-40 rockslide shuts down interstate near Tennessee/North Carolina state line

12:22 AM, Feb 1, 2012   |    comments
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TDOT officials say there is still no timeline as to when the rockslide that's currently blocking I-40 westbound in Cocke County will be cleared.

The slide happened early Tuesday morning between mile markers 450 and 451 near the North Carolina state line.

Mark Nagi, TDOT spokesperson, says the February 14 date on the website is a "large ballpark."

They are estimating now the clean up will take weeks, not months or days.  TDOT officials are meeting at noon to discuss what needs to be done, and how long it will take.

There are no current plans to open a westbound lane in the eastbound lane of traffic, but they do have officials looking at that option.

Nagi did say the clean up will take weeks. Not months or days.

TDOT is advising the following detour for people traveling from North Carolina to Tennessee on I-40:  Take I-240 West (Exit 53B) in Asheville to I-26 West (Exit 4A) to I-81 South (Exit 8A) back to I-40 West.

The detour route is approximately 53 miles.

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TDOT tells 10News that officials in Nashville are working to draw up an emergency contract for the removal of a rockslide that has closed the westbound lanes of I-40 near the North Carolina line.

According to the TDOT Smartway website, the slide is estimated to be cleared by February 14, though engineers at the site of the slide say they are unsure of an exact timeline. Drivers can go as far as the 451 exit heading west, but are encouraged to seek other routes to Tennessee.  Officials are urging drivers to travel Hwy 26 to Hwy 81 to I-40.

Eastbound traffic is unaffected.

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Both westbound lanes of I-40W between mile marker 450 and 451 near the North Carolina line have been closed following a rockslide.

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TDOT officials say they are preparing to close both westbound lanes of I-40 at the 451 mile marker in order to deal with the aftermath of a rockslide near the North Carolina state line.

The interstate is currently clear, but geologists are worried about a much larger rock that is in jeopardy of falling on the interstate.

Crews are preparing to divert westbound traffic from North Carolina onto I-26 and I-81. 

Previous Story

A rockslide has closed one westbound lane of I-40 between mile markers 450 and 451 near the North Carolina state line.

TDOT crews have already moved rocks from the initial slide to the side of the interstate, but are worried about a much larger rock that is still hanging from the cliffside.

TDOT says they should know more about the severity of the slide at daylight.

Stay tuned 10News Today and wbir.com for the latest.



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