HARTFORD (WATE) – Interstate 40 has reopened near mile marker 7 in North Carolina.
North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC-DOT) closed a portion of the interstate seven miles from the Tennessee state line at slope stabilization project. NC-DOT originally said the road was closed because of a rockslide, but Ken Ulmer, the Communications officer with NC-DOT later said contractors noticed unstable rocks during a blasting project and decided to close the interstate as a precaution.
“The whole reason behind the shutdown was safety, that’s the only reason why we shut it down,” said Aaron Powell, a resident engineer with NC-DOT.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation says eastbound lanes reopened just before 9:30 p.m.. According to NC-DOT’s 511 line, the westbound lanes reopened overnight.
The blast was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but engineers on the project conducted the blast Tuesday night in an effort to stabilize the mountainside.
“Basically we’re taking down the slope before it decides to slide on its own and block the lanes for months,” said Powell.