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Route 66N in Hawkins reopened nine months after massive mudslide

STAFF REPORT • Nov 26, 2019 at 6:20 PM

ROGERSVILLE — According to a press release issued by the Tennessee Department of Transportation Tuesday evening, the Route 66N mudslide repair north of Rogersville has reached the point where all lanes have been opened to the traveling public.

On Wednesday, motorists will experience one-lane conditions as crews work to finish placing stone on the shoulders and ditches.

Also, motorists should use caution in the area, as trucks are still hauling material from a waste site on New Life Road using Jordan Road and Spruce Pine Road to Route 66N.

The highway had been closed since Feb. 24, when heavy rains caused numerous mudslides in Hawkins County, including a massive one on Route 66N between New Life Road and Clinch Valley Road.

Another mudslide on Feb. 21 on Route 70N occurred between Clinch Valley Road and Route 94 (Pressmens Home Road) near Cave Springs Road and resulted in two accidents, one a fatality and the other a serious injury.

Both roads are the only direct routes between Rogersville and the Clinch Valley community. Clinch School was reduced to a four-day school week as a result of the long detour. 

Next week, motorists will encounter a temporary lane closure on Route 66N between Spruce Pine Road and New Life Road as TDOT maintenance crews repair the edge of the roadway. This work will be done during work hours only and should be completed within a week.

The Route 70N repair project is ongoing, with the roadway still closed, but officials expect that the roadway through the slide area will be opened by the end of next week.

However, once this section is open, motorists will encounter a one-lane roadway controlled by a traffic signal at the top of the mountain because there is another slide at this location that is being let to contract on Dec. 13.