TOPTON – A rockslide has closed U.S. 19/74 in the Nantahala Gorge for the remainder of today and at least through the daylight hours on Friday.
N.C. Department of Transportation crews are mobilizing to remove mud and debris from a troublesome location near Hewitts Road where a slide closed the highway one month ago.
“There’s probably 50 or 60 truck loads of material in there that we’ll have to haul away,” Division 14 Maintenance Engineer Wesley Grindstaff said. “It’s not all on the road, but that’s what we’ll have to remove.”
This slide has also altered the path drainage has flowed down the steep embankment. Crews will restore that natural path closer to its original location in order to prevent additional debris from the new path of water.
The marked detour through Robbinsville and Stecoah adds about 20 minutes to a commute. Westbound drivers will take N.C. 28 to N.C. 143 and U.S. 129 back to U.S. 19/74. Drivers heading east will utilize those roads in reverse.