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Wednesday, 08 February 2012 20:51

I-40 cleared of rock-slide debris and open to motorists

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Interstate 40 near the Tennessee line in Haywood County reopened early Sunday morning following two rockslides in as many weeks. Only one lane of the Interstate is open through the Pigeon River Gorge near the state line, however.

Following the initial rockslide at mile marker 451 in Tennessee, about one mile from the North Carolina state border on Jan. 31, a second rockslide occurred on Feb. 3 near mile marker 7 in North Carolina.

The westbound lanes of the Interstate in Haywood County were closed to traffic for only six days — shorter than earlier estimates and far shorter than a five-month closure two years ago.

The latest slide left 600 tons of rock in the roadway, with some boulders the size of small cars.

N.C. Department of Transportation crews, with help from Ameritech Slope Constructors Inc. of Asheville, removed an additional 150 tons of loose rock from the mountainside and hauled off the debris from the road by the late afternoon Sunday. The site is now clear and safe for travel.

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This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceMary Harper was quite possibly the first real friend I made when I moved to Western North Carolina.

    With my apartment a few blocks away from the Water’n Hole Bar & Grill in Waynesville, I ventured down there at night trying to see what was up in this town, trying to make some friends, and trying not to feel alone and isolated in a new place where I was unknown to all who surrounded me. Harper, with her million-dollar smile and swagger, immediately made me feel at home. 

    Written on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00 Read more...