NC 163 closed after slope failure
Last modified: Aug. 16
Repairs began at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 12, and could be completed in three weeks, weather permitting, according to NCDOT Transportation Supervisor David White.
“We’re estimating at least three weeks, or possibly longer,” White said Tuesday. “There are always a lot of variables, and right now we don’t truly know the total extent of the (slope failure).”
Flooding and runoff from heavy rains loosened the soil on the long, steep bank next to N.C. 163, according to NCDOT officials, who said they will haul in large rocks to rebuild the embankment.
“Right now, we’re hauling away all the material from the slide,” White said. “Then we’ll fill in the base at the bottom with rock and work it all the way back up. It’s about as simple as it sounds, but there is a lot of water, including underground springs in the area, so we’ll have to put in underdrains.”
While the closure is in place, motorists will take the following 23-mile detour route:
Take N.C. 163 and turn right onto U.S. 221. Turn right onto N.C. 16 and head back to N.C. 163.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit http://www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone and bookmark it to save for future reference.
Monday evening, the slope beneath the roadway collapsed further and severed buried Centurylink and Skyline Membership Corporation fiber optic communications cables, disrupting telephone and internet service across portions of Ashe County.
Centurylink line crews worked throughout the night splicing the damaged cable, according to Centurylink Area Plant Supervisor Keith Brown.
“We were notified of the cut sometime around 7:30 p.m.” Brown said. “Phone and internet were out, as well as 911 service in the affected area, which is why we worked throughout the night to get that up and running again.”
Brown said the problem has been temporarily fixed, but is vulnerable should the slope continue to slide.
“Right now, we’re working on a permanent solution that will bypass that area completely,” Brown said. “We should be good as long as we don’t have another slide.”