Drivers who normally use Interstate 40 in extreme western North Carolina can plan on being detoured more than a hundred miles out of the way. The highway, which is closed in both directions, is unlikely to reopen anytime soon.
Persistent rain has slowed down efforts to remove a 150-foot rock slide at mile marker 3, and state DOT officials are now saying it could be four months before the interstate reopens.
Mike Patton is a state DOT technician overseeing the work. He told the Asheville Citizen-Times that there are “rocks still waiting to fall that are extremely large and pose an extreme danger to anybody or a piece of equipment below the slide location.”