The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded an emergency contract to Graham County Land Company on Thursday to repair damage caused by a series of landslides over the weekend.
“We look forward to starting this repair and opening the highway in the coming weeks,” said Acting Division 14 Engineer Brian Burch.
The $1.29 million contract includes guidelines to stabilize the slide area — large enough to cover a football field — remove about 50,000 cubic yards of debris, reinforce the mountain with anchors and mesh and install 250 feet of rockfall fencing next to the road. Work can begin as soon as Graham Land Company moves equipment into position.
“This is tedious, time-consuming and dangerous work,” Burch said. “We have worked with Graham County Land Company on other slide projects and they are experts in this field.”
An average of 900 vehicles per day use N.C. 28 and it is the primary access for the Town of Fontana Dam, the Fontana Village Resort as well as TVA’s Fontana Dam. The signed detour directs through traffic to use N.C. 143 and U.S. 129.
The road will remain closed to both vehicles and pedestrians until the work is completed and engineers declare the area safe. Much like an avalanche, rocks and boulders could tumble at any time for any reason. Concrete barriers have been placed on the road as a safety precaution.