Interstate 40 Reopens
Posted September 11, 1997
WAYNESVILLE — It's the day tourist, travelers and business owners have waited months for. Interstate 40 over the mountains to Tennessee has reopened after a rock slide on July 1 closed it.
The interstate opened with one lane going in each direction. The state Department of Transportation said that's all that will be open for a while because there is still a lot of work to be done.
Workers said they felt the interstate was very safe for traffic, and that they hope to have the rest of the interstate cleared sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
A fence was put up to protect cars from falling rocks and with a dark screen to keep people from looking at the clean-up. The westbound lanes are still covered with 100,000 cubic yards of dirt, and it will be months before those lanes open.
More than $1 million has been spent so far to clear the interstate and the costs are continuing to rise.