Part of I-40 closed after rockslide near Tenn. border

ajames@newsobserver.comJanuary 31, 2012 

Westbound Interstate 40 near the Tennessee border will be closed for the next two weeks after a rockslide in Tennessee.

The westbound lanes will be closed at exit 20 in North Carolina, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation. Traffic traveling west on I-40 will be detoured; eastbound traffic is unaffected.

The N.C. Department of Transportation recommends motorists traveling west toward Tennessee take I-240 West in Asheville to I-26 West, then follow I-26 West to I-81 South in Tennessee back to I-40. The detour is 53 miles longer.

At this time, the Tennessee Department of Transportation expects the road to remain closed until Feb. 14 as crews work to stabilize the area of the slide.

The rockslide occurred in Cocke County near mile marker 451 in Tennessee, approximately one mile from the border, according to the N.C. DOT.

The detour is expected to cause increased traffic in Asheville.

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