Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has announced one lane will open on Grandview Mountain’s Highway 68 as soon as Saturday morning at 8 AM. The road has been closed since April 24, when heavy rains caused a portion of the road to wash down the mountain.
“We’re going to stabilize one lane and make sure it’s safe,” says TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges. “Right now the detour is about a 40-50 minute drive. The people up here knows that.”
Travelers can expect a three-minute wait on each side with concrete barriers protecting them from the rubble beneath. Degges says they’ve been able to anchor soil nails six feet into bedrock to ensure the remainder of the roadway stays intact.
“It’s limited, but it does get the traffic moving,” says State Representative Ron Travis.
“Our first goal was to get traffic moving, and we’ve done that. This is a win-win for Grandview residents.”
Traffic will be open to light traffic – no heavy trucks.
“We know for everyday traffic this is huge, but for emergency vehicles – it’s critical,” says TDOT Commissioner John Schroer.
Labor costs for repairs are still up in the air, but material costs for repairs are estimated at $750,000.
“I’ve watched the progress they’ve (TDOT) made, and I feel the public should be really pleased at the progress,” says RCSD Chief Deputy John Argo.
“It’s amazing at how fast they’ve come to address this and how hard they’ve been working just to get a lane open. The lane opening will be a very dangerous situation for traffic passing through and the workers.”
“I hope everyone will drive with caution through here because there are still people working here,” adds Argo.
Both lanes are estimated to be open within three to four weeks, but TDOT says there are a lot of variables and this is only their best estimate.