NCDOT crews have just shut down one of the only routes through the Western North Carolina mountains.
At about 7:30pm last night, the equivilant of two dump truck loads of rocks slid down the mountain slope onto the highway, according to a press release.
“There’s no way to safely open I-40 tonight,” said Division 14 Maintenance Engineer Wesley Grindstaff. “A series of wheel-barrow sized rocks have come down. While our crew were clearing those out of the way, other rocks started coming down too.”
Interstate 40 between Asheville and Knoxville is closed at exit 276, mile marker 20 headed toward Knoxville, and at the Harmon Den exit, mile marker 7 heading toward Asheville;
NCDOT also uploaded a video of the moving landslide to their YouTube channel;
A GeoTech team has now been dispatched to assess the damage and what it will take to restabalize the road and nearby rockface.
Officials at NCDOT said they expect I-40 to be shut down for at least a week while repairs are made.