The highway is open to travelers once again.
NCDOT crews from Swain, Macon, and Jackson counties removed about 500 dump-truck loads of dirt, rock and debris from the road. They worked as a team operating two excavators, one bulldozer and drove circuits hauling away the debris, until they finished sweeping the road Monday afternoon.
“I’m very impressed and proud of how much they were able to accomplish is such a short time,” Division 14 Maintenance Engineer Wesley Grindstaff said. “I know residents in the area, and folks driving to and from Franklin, are glad that the road is back open.”
On Thursday evening, crews closed the area, just north of Brush Creek Road, with barricades after a handful of basketball-sized rocks tumbled to the road. Shortly before 5 p.m. Grindstaff witnessed a sedan-sized rock and additional debris fall from a hillside. By sunrise on Friday, the rest of the hillside slid toward the road.
“It turned out to be a pretty straight-forward cleanup,” Swain County Maintenance Engineer Travis Williamson said. “We have a great team and they did outstanding work for our residents and visitors.”