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Update: I-40 rock slide repairs in NC extended a month, including lane restrictions

Rock slide closes Interstate 40 in NC mountains

A rock slide closed Interstate 40 in the North Carolina mountains on Friday night, and the highway will stay shut for a week as crews stabilize the mountainside, N.C. Department of Transportation officials said.
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A rock slide closed Interstate 40 in the North Carolina mountains on Friday night, and the highway will stay shut for a week as crews stabilize the mountainside, N.C. Department of Transportation officials said.

Travelers on Interstate 40 in western North Carolina will see lane restrictions for an additional 30 days, as crews work to repair damage caused by a February landslide at the Tennessee state line.

The heavily traveled section of interstate is currently down to one lane in each direction at the site of the slide, near mile marker 7. The speed limit has also been reduced in the area, from 55 mph to 45.

Interstate 40 will not return to four lanes until the weekend of May 3, NCDOT officials said in a press release.

An extra 30 days is needed to install additional safety measures to “help prevent future slides and closures near the Harmon Den exit,” said the release.

The interstate was entirely closed through the mountains for five days, after a slide brought tons of rock, trees and dirt down onto the travel lanes the night of Feb. 22. Rock was still falling at the site the following morning, according to state officials.

No injuries to motorists were reported during the rock slide.

Traffic was rerouted 50 miles around the site of the slide, causing major delays for motorists, the Charlotte Observer reported.

“The cleanup and repairs have included removing more than 10,000 tons of debris, installing rock anchors, hanging wire mesh and building a retaining wall,” NCDOT said in the release.

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