NC highway closed by rock slide partially reopens - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

NC highway closed by rock slide partially reopens

HARMON DEN, N.C. (AP) - An interstate through mountainous western North Carolina near the Tennessee state line has reopened to almost all vehicles, six months to the day after a rock slide forced its closing.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that Interstate 40 in northern Haywood County reopened Sunday evening, two days ahead of schedule. The road closed Oct. 25 near mile marker 3 in the remote Pigeon River Gorge.

Transportation Department spokesman Jerry Higgins says one westbound lane will remain closed until summer so workers can scrape off some loose rock and perhaps install bolts to prevent more slides.

Vehicles wider than 12 feet will have to take a long detour via Interstate 26 through Johnson City, Tenn., until both westbound lanes are open.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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