Drivers who use N.C. Route 9 just east of Asheville, N.C., near US-74A will need to take a long detour.
A landslide in Bat Cave in Henderson County has blocked the highway, causing motorists in the area to take a 50-mile detour until the end of July.
At approximately 6 a.m. on June 5, a landslide started 600-800 feet above the highway, according to a North Carolina Department of Transportation news release. The landslide occurred between Minihaha Drive and Old Fort Loop Road on N.C. Route 9, covering the highway.
The detour is a long one. From the lower part of Bat Cave, drivers will need to take U.S. 74A northbound to Interstate 40 eastbound in Asheville, N.C., and then take Exit 64 to N.C. Route 9. From here, drivers can reach the upper part of Bat Cave. Coming from the upper end of Bat Cave, motorists will need to reverse the detour by taking N.C. Route 9 northbound to I-40 westbound in Black Mountain, then using Exit 53A to enter U.S. 74A southbound to N.C. Route 9.
On June 11, NCDOT awarded a contract to clear up the debris for $1.5 million. The initial completion date is slated for July 27.
Cleanup crews will need to build a dirt road up the mountain to move heavy equipment for excavation, according to NCDOT. Work includes removal of debris, restoration of drainage, replacement of guardrail and repairing the road.
“It’s similar to a slide this past winter on N.C. 28 in Graham County,” Division 14 Construction Engineer Ted Adams said. “Only this slide is bigger. It goes all the way to the top of the mountain, and somewhere in between there is a 20-foot high sheer cut.”
A video of the landslide can be seen below.
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