A rock slide has closed down Interstate 40 in North Carolina near Tennessee, possibly for several months.
The road is closed at mile marker 2.6 after it was blocked by the slide at 2:00 a.m. Sunday.
On average, 133,000 drivers use this section of I-40 each week.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has made an emergency declaration and has a contractor en route to begin clean up.
Engineers’ initial estimates are that it could take several months to clean up the entire slide and restore traffic.
A detour has been set up. Motorists traveling west to Tennessee should take I-40 West to I-240 West in Asheville to I-26 West. Follow I-26 West from Asheville to I-81 South in Tennessee, back to I-40. Eastbound motorists will follow the reverse directions.
Due the nature of the slide, a top-down method may be used to remove the debris and stabilize the slide area. NCDOT is coordinating with the U.S. Forestry Service, who owns the land.