Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 17, 2013

DOH supervisor expects northbound Interstate 77 to remain closed today

BLUEFIELD — Northbound traffic on Interstate 77 will be rerouted again today while contractors continue their work to stabilize a hillside overlooking mile-marker 3 near Bluefield.

Starting 7 a.m. today, northbound traffic will be sent to U.S. Route 460 to travel east to Princeton. Once in Princeton, motorists will return to I-77. Traffic on Route 460 east has been heavy during the day while crews work on the interstate.

Tom Camden, supervisor for District 10 of the state Department of Highways, said contractors had hoped to finish the work on Monday.

“Our hopes were to finish up today, but it looks like it’s going to extend into (today) at least,” Camden said Monday afternoon.

In March, a major rockslide near mile-marker 3 closed the northbound lanes of I-77 for several days while crews worked to move large boulders and other debris. The recent work began when several large rocks rolled off the hillside and landed near the highway.

“Our main concern is that there is still a large number of rocks that contractors are having to bring down by hand,” Camden said. “Obviously, this is a very labor intensive and dangerous process, and we want to make sure they are able to do their jobs safely and that there’s no risk to the traveling public.”

Southbound lanes have remained open since Dec. 13 without interruption, Camden said.

After dusk, the fast lane on I-77 near mile-marker 3 is opened to traffic, he said. Both northbound lanes will be closed again Tuesday morning.

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