Another rockslide struck along the already closed section of Interstate 40 over the weekend.
The new slide is nothing like the earlier one, but big enough in its own right. It covered both westbound lanes just past exit 7 at Harmon Den. It brought down an estimated 500 cubic yards of rock — the equivalent of about 50 dump truck loads. The pile in the road is about 40 feet long and 50 feet wide, with the largest rocks the size of SUVs.
While the Interstate was already blocked to through traffic, it is still used 24-7 by workers coming and going to the larger slide repair. Luckily the new slide didn’t hurt anyone. It was discovered at 1 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, by a construction supervisor for Phillips & Jordan, the head contractor over repairs on the larger slide.
The clean up may take as little as three weeks. Additional crews will be brought in, so repairs to the smaller slide should not extend the closure of I-40 any longer than it would be already.
Meanwhile, a rock slide on the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Spur in Tennessee also happened over the weekend. The slide only covered one side of the road. The unaffected lanes were set up to allow two-way traffic, with one lane in each direction.