MARSHALL — Geotechnical engineers from the N.C. Department of Transportation are examining a rockslide location on U.S. 25/70 in Madison County that occurred Saturday afternoon.
Engineers immediately closed both directions of the highway and crews established a detour utilizing Interstate 26 and N.C. 213 that will remain in place until lanes can be safely reopened.
Recent heavy rains caused rocks and topsoil to tumble down a hill beside the northbound lanes about one-half mile south of U.S. 25 Business. The slide area is about 200 feet tall and 75 feet wide.
The detour directs northbound drivers to travel on I-26 to Exit 11 then turn left on N.C. 213 and go nine miles to U.S. 25/70. Southbound drivers will turn left onto N.C. 213 and drive nine miles to I-26 East.
The highway carried an average of 9,800 vehicles per day during the 2018 traffic count. Only I-26 carries more drivers into Madison County on a daily basis.
“Our geotechnical experts will continue examining the active slide and help us develop a plan of action,” Division 13 Maintenance Engineer Tim Anderson said. “We realize the detour will inconvenience many folks in Madison County, but first and foremost, it is important that the area is safe.”
NCDOT crews in Yancey County established a lane closure on N.C. 197 around a single boulder that fell on Saturday near U.S. 19E.