BANNER ELK — The road closure associated with Tropical Storm Fred on Hwy. 184/Tynecastle Hwy. is still being repaired by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, along with affiliated contractors and maintenance divisions, with no official completion date yet established.
David Uchiyama, communications officer with the western region of the North Carolina DOT, stated that the hoped for reopening of the road would occur on Sept. 10. However, he noted that there are too many variables to get an exact and definitive timetable.
The landslide causing the closure was created by soil saturation along with the storm itself. Road crews must excavate soil in order to get to safe and solid ground to appropriately fortify the repairs.
NCDOT is keeping traffic flowing at the location by detouring commuters toward other routes, as well as by utilizing an automated construction signal during overnight hours to allow for the opening of a single lane of travel through the location.
“Shutting down the road makes the repair process easier and faster,” Uchiyama said.
All the necessary equipment required for the repair utilizes a large amount of surface area, enabling crews to efficiently and safely continue working. Multiple contractors are also being deployed for the project, as the requisite amount of labor, equipment, and materials is abundant.
NCDOT and associated maintenance departments have been coordinating with area emergency services to work around the closure with minimal restrictive measures, thus maintaining appropriate response times.
The official marked detour route for the closed road provided by NCDOT is listed as NC 194 South to the US 19E South/NC 194 South intersection in Elk Park, then NC 194 South to Newland, with motorists then taking NC 181 South through Newland to Hwy. 105 North in Linville to the intersection of Hwy. 105 and Hwy. 184 in Tynecastle.