LENOIR, N.C. -- Crews say they are getting closer to reopening U.S. 321 into the North Carolina mountains.
The Department of Transportation said about 75 percent of the rocks that caused the closing of the highway between Lenior and Blowing Rock were broken into pieces small enough to be hauled away Friday.
Another explosion is scheduled for Sunday unless the region sees freezing rain that would halt the around-the-clock work.
U.S. 321 is a main route from Charlotte to Boone and ski areas in the state's northwest mountains.
Engineers closed U.S. 321 after rocks along the side of the road became unstable during construction to widen the highway.
Another vital link through the mountains, Interstate 40, remains closed because of an October rock slide.