Detours in place for nearly 50 miles of I-40 closed in WNC

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HAYWOOD Co., NC (WSPA) —  A major detour on a North Carolina interstate after landslides and rockslides is causing headaches for drivers.  This all happened after several days of rain and storms last week.

Now a roadblock is what drivers see when they hit Exit 20 on Interstate 40. Then they’ll follow the detour north through Johnson City adding two hours to their trip.

This is all because of a rockslide around mile marker seven on the interstate. NCDOT says the slide started on Friday night with rocks hitting nine cars. Thankfully there were no injuries, but that started the nearly 50 mile to be shut down as crews worked to clean it up.

The goal is to have one lane of traffic reopen on the eastbound side by Thursday as crews work 24 hour shifts to fix the bigger problems.

“To get all four lanes open should take about six to eight weeks and Harrison Construction will assume the contract for an approximate cost of $1.6 million,” said David Uchiyama with NCDOT.

Now what caused the slide is still unclear, but crews said rain did play a factor. With the potential for more rain in the forecast, NCDOT said the timeline could get longer.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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