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321 Slide Area: More Blasting Today PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Sunday, 13 December 2009 01:37

The operation to re-open US 321 in the Nelson's Chapel area south of Blowing Rock has cleared 75 percent of the current spillage onto the roadway, but more blasting could come today, weather permitting.

The DOT closed the road last Monday, fearing that boulders the size of trucks could come crashing down on the highway at any time--rocks made unstable by a blast that closed the road earlier a few days earlier.  Blasting has loosened much of the rock that had been in danger of falling, dropping it to the roadbed just below, and now 3/4ths of that has been removed.  More blasting will take place today unless icing conditions prohibit work at the site as contractors strive to re-open the road by mid-week. The road closure has damaged commerce in the High Country, especially in the Blowing Rock area where weekend shopping and other tourism spending is key to the local economy.

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