Interstate 40 Rock Slide

By now, everyone is probably aware at least at some level of the massive rock slide that has closed Interstate 40 near the Tennessee border in Haywood County. What is the fastest way to get the slide cleaned up and traffic flowing again through this vital east-west artery?

If there was ever a "shovel-ready" project, moving the massive boulders (some as large as a small house) and working to stabilize the mountainside through the Pigeon River gorge is such a project. There are dozens of road and site construction companies in Western NC with capacity and equipment on the ready to get to work, as soon as dollars are ready to flow to pay for fuel and labor.

If the Congress and previous administration could mobilize nearly a trillion dollars in a few weeks to bail out AIG, Citibank, and others, surely they could find under the sofa cushions a mere $20 or $30 million to get I-40 open between Asheville and Knoxville before Christmas.

Comments

Rocks slide

It is a priority project

I am not sure why usna77 is so critical here on this rockslide, but this isn't something that can be rectified in just a matter of days. There are safety concerns with regard to those that do have to be involved in taking care of it. There are concerns with regard to further rock slide incidents. There has to be people to gather together, contracts to get done, a plan to formulate.

Troubling.

Matter of days?

Sorry, but I did not mean to imply in my post that the area could be cleared and traffic restored in a matter of days. In fact the last estimates I've read indicate a three month estimate to get I-40 open again.

Believe me, I-40 west to Tennessee is a major thoroughfare through Haywood County, which is a significant tourist destination. Maggie Valley and especially the Cataloochee Ski Resort depend on traffic not only from the Atlanta direction, but also from east Tennessee.

And I'm certainly not suggesting overriding safety concerns or procedures, or bypassing getting contracts done or formulating plans. Rather, I'm suggesting these critical path activities all be put on a fast track.

I am suggesting that the real critical path here is not related to safety or contracting or design. The critical path is bringing money to bear, enough money to put engineers and safety experts and construction crews on duty round-the-clock with the goal of cutting that three-month estimated duration by 20, 30, even 50%.

IN 1995, Milliken's carpet manufacturing plant in LaGrange, GA burned to the ground. Every day that Milliken was not shipping carpet fabric was costing the company millions of dollars. Designers and construction crews were brought in to work around the clock to rebuild a 300,000 square-foot manufacturing plant, and in less than 6 months the new plant was open and shipping product.

That is the kind of urgency we need to deal with the I-40 rock slide, just 20 miles west of here. It may not be a big deal to those in Greensboro or Charlotte or Wilmington, but it is for us.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

"Matter of days" wasn't meant to be literal

usna77, I am not here to get in a "fight" with you. I just saw your statement: "If the Congress and previous administration could mobilize nearly a trillion dollars in a few weeks to bail out AIG, Citibank, and others, surely they could find under the sofa cushions a mere $20 or $30 million to get I-40 open between Asheville and Knoxville before Christmas." This "matter of days" was not meant to be literal. But, suffice to say that there is much to be considered, much to be done to get this cleared up. There was a rock slide going to Yosemite National Park at least a year ago along a popular roadway to that park and it has YET to be cleaned up and the roadway is yet to be opened up again. This kind of problem is much more involved than just getting the debris out of the way. I understand your impatience on this with I-40 being such a main trib between the east and west, but there is a great deal to be considered here and even though time is of the essence, many other considerations must be considered paramount.

I am not trying to argue with you. I am sorry if I came across that way.