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Mon February 08, 2010 - Southeast Edition
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee highway officials expect to finish clearing debris from a November rock slide on U.S. Highway 64 in Polk County by March 31.
A statement from the state Department of Transportation said crews have removed about 6,000 cu. yds. of debris and have been working to stabilize the adjacent mountainside as of Jan. 8.
A $2.1 million emergency contract was awarded to Charles Blalock & Sons of Sevierville and highway officials had said after the Nov. 10 slide that the cleanup would take at least two months.
According to TDOT’s Web site, by the end of January crews were assembling a new 150-ton crane to be used to install the bolts along the rock face. Approximately 200 bolts, with a 2-in. (5 cm) diameter, ranging from 10 to 25 ft. (3 to 7.6 m) long will be driven into the mountainside. The contractor was planning to remove debris that was generated by recent blasting from the roadway so that a crane pad could be constructed for the new crane.
TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely said in a statement that the slide has been a major inconvenience for residents of Copperhill and Ducktown and everything is being done to get the highway reopened as quickly as possible.