Slope failure repairs underway on new alignment
RALEIGH - Weather permitting, the N.C. Department of Transportation will reopen N.C. 89 in Lowgap at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, after crews complete work related to the N.C. 89 curve realignment project.
Crews closed the road on Monday, Sept. 9, to complete grading on each end of the new N.C. 89 curve project, lay fiber optic lines and install a retaining wall on the lower end of the project to prevent erosion. A 60-foot-wide slope failure occurred along the new curve alignment. Crews are removing the debris, and installing rock bolts and netting to support the slope. These repairs will not affect traffic flow along the original N.C. 89 curve alignment.
Once the curve work and slope failure repairs are complete, crews will begin work on the final phase of the curve realignment project. During this phase, crews will lay asphalt, place road markings and tie in each end of the new alignment to N.C. 89 about a mile south of the N.C. 18/89 intersection near the Virginia state line. The work will require an additional closure of N.C. 89, and travelers will have to take the 40-mile detour route around the project.
Despite unfavorable weather throughout much of the project, NCDOT expects to complete the curve realignment much earlier than planned. Weather permitting, the project's final inspection is expected to take place in late October or November, which is a year earlier than the projected completion date of November 2014.
The quarter-mile curve is being realigned near the existing curve to improve safety. This curve has seen a high accident rate, especially for large trucks attempting to navigate the tighter curve on the mountainous road. Drivers negotiating the sharp curve have had to slow down, and sometimes stop, along the narrow mountain road to allow large trucks room to pass.
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Editor's Note: Project photos can be found on the NCDOT Flickr page.