State News

I-40 all open year after rockslide

Posted October 22, 2010 7:40 p.m. EDT
Updated October 23, 2010 8:56 a.m. EDT

— All lanes of Interstate 40 in western North Carolina are open to traffic, nearly one year to the day after a rockslide shut down the highway.

The state Department of Transportation announced Friday that the last orange construction barrel was removed from I-40 in Haywood County near the Tennessee line.

“For almost a full year, crews have worked tirelessly to perform the most complex rock-stabilization effort ever attempted in North Carolina,” state Secretary of Transportation Gene Conti said in a statement.

“On the one year anniversary of the rockslide this Monday, traffic will once again be flowing freely, and everyone can enjoy a safe drive through the mountains.”

The rockslide last Oct. 25 sent boulders the size of mobile homes tumbling onto the roadway. Although most of the interstate was re-opened to traffic on April 27, one westbound lane remained closed between Harmon Den and the Tennessee border to allow crews to work and stabilize eight separate sites nearby.

Over the next several weeks, motorists might occasionally encounter a temporary lane closure as equipment is moved and work is completed at the site of the rockslide.