Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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March 20, 2013

Traffic slowed on Interstate 77 following large rock slide at mile marker 3

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 Northbound traffic on Interstate 77 near Bluefield is at a standstill due to a rock slide.

The north bound ramp on John Nash Boulevard has been closed. Traffic on I-77 north bound is at a standstill.

The main part of the hillside collapsed at about 1 p.m. Highway crews started noticing rocks falling, and hearing cracking noises at about noon. The road closed between 11 a.m. and noon. The main part of the hillside came down at approximatley 1 p.m., officials said.

“You can walk on the other side of it and you can hear it crack,” Rob White, assistant maintenance engineer for the DOH, said. “Pretty much as it stands we’re waiting for it to be safe enough to where we can get underneath it and start cleaning up.”

DOH District 10 Administrator Tommy Camden is suggesting an I-77 detour. Camden says get off on Exit 1, go down John Nash Boulevard and take 460 to Princeton. Then reconnect with I-77 north in Princeton.

“Right now our goal would be to keep at least one lane open,” Camden said.

Barriers are currently being installed along the rock side area.

“The detour will remain in effect until we can better access the situation, Camden said.



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