HARMON DEN, NC—One lane of Interstate 40 westbound in North Carolina is reopened today after a small rockslide on Monday afternoon.

NCDOT officials reopened the lane at 5:20 p.m. on Monday after the rockslide occurred near the Harmon Den exit at mile marker 7.

“Crews from Division 14 cleared debris from beside the road and removed large rocks from the mountainside before examining the area for additional safety hazards,” a release from NCDOT said. “Geotechnical experts will revisit the site in Haywood County early Tuesday morning to help determine when both lanes can open. Recent heavy rains likely played a role in the rocks coming loose.”

Shortly following the 1:15 p.m. slide, officials closed both westbound lanes for the safety of motorists. Crews found three boulders in a ditch beside the road and determined that a handful of other rocks needed to be removed from the mountain, because the danger they posed.

NCDOT did not disclose when the other lane of westbound traffic would reopen.

A larger slide occurred less than one mile west of this location in February.

NCDOT is in the midst of a multi-year rehabilitation project of a 15-mile stretch in the Pigeon River Gorge between mile marker 15 and the Tennessee-North Carolina state line, which involves resurfacing and repair work, as well as median wall construction.

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