U.S. 129 Slide Repair Update: Strong Winds Suspend Work
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Drilling operations on the rockslide repair project in Blount County on U.S. 129/State Route 115 were suspended today due to strong and dangerous winds. Once wind speeds reach between 15 to 20 miles per hour, the cranes begin to sway and move which puts the crews in jeopardy.
However, crews were able to finish drilling 50 foot holes for 41 rock bolts to be installed at the top of the slope. Installation of the rock bolts started on Monday. Tennessee Department of Transportation emergency contractor Pacific Blasting & Demolition Ltd. has also started to drill 50 foot holes for the installation of 22 more rock bolts to continue with the stabilization phase of the rockslide repairs.
U.S. 129/SR-115 remains closed from just past the Foothills Parkway to the Tabcat Bridge. However, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. U.S. 129/SR-115 is open from Tabcat Bridge to the state line. Through traffic is not allowed to travel through the slide area at anytime. Detours remain in place to allow motorists to get around the rockslide repair area.