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"Tail of the Dragon" partially shut down by rockslide

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A rockslide, appoximately 125 feet by 60 feet, closes a section of The Dragon near the North Carolina border.

KNOXVILLE -– An early morning rockslide in Blount County, part of U.S. 129/State Route 115, known as "The Tail of the Dragon," has been closed at the site of a rockslide, which occurred approximately nine miles north of the Tennessee-North Carolina state line.

TDOT geotechnical engineers have conducted preliminary evaluations of the slide and are currently developing a plan to stabilize the mountainside and re-open the road safely and expeditiously. Cleanup operations are expected to continue into early next week.

Drivers of non-commercial vehicles will be allowed to travel the eight-mile stretch from North Carolina into Tennessee up to the overlook near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The section from just south of the Foothills Parkway to the site of the rockslide will remain closed as crews work to remove debris.

Detour Information:

From North Carolina
Motorists travelling on U.S. 74 can take State Route 68 north to Ducktown. Continue on SR-68 through Polk and Monroe Counties to I-75 in Sweetwater.

(Non-Commercial Traffic Only)
Motorists travelling on State Route 143 in North Carolina will continue to travel north onto State Route 165 to Tellico Plains to State Route 68 north to U.S. 411 (State Route 35) toward Maryville.

(Non-Commercial Traffic Only)
Motorists can also use U.S. 441 to travel through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into Cherokee, North Carolina. For road closures on U.S. 441 through the Smokies, motorists can call (865) 436-1200.

Published March 16, 2012, 3:30 p.m.

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