With all the rain we’ve been experiencing, comes a number of landslides. Road crews in Blount County will be monitoring an area where two landslides happened earlier in the week.
TDOT crews have been working to clean up areas of State Road 73 off and on throughout the week. Mud and debris getting in the road because of the heavy rainfall.
Every day, Haylee Ridings visits her grandmother in Townsend but her drive this week has been muddier.
“I’ve had to clean my car a couple times since the rock slide happened,” she says.
On Monday, Ridinigs says she had to use Old Walland Highway instead of the Parkway because it was closed down for a time as crews cleaned up mud and rocks.
“You can tell like there are parts where they’ve got patches, I guess, over the rocks where they knew it was going to happen. I guess it wasn’t that big of a surpise because you knew it was going to happen eventually,” said Ridings
TDOT says this time of year, there’s a greater possibility for landslides.
“We’ve had our geotechnical engineers examine that slopeside. We have our maintenance crews that are staying in the area tonight and in the days to come to continue to monitoring that roadway so that if any loose material does come off the hillside, they’ll be able to get it off the roadway as quickly as possible,” said Mark Nagi with TDOT.
This area of the parkway, leading into Townsend, has had mudslides before. TDOT saying it’s concerning because 8,000 vehicles travel this road every day.
“For this specific part of State Route 73, our geotechnical engineers are going to wait until the rain stops and then they’re going to reassess that slopeside and make the determination as to whether anymore remediation efforts are necessary,” added Nagi.
Drivers like Ridings say they plan on taking it slow, simply because it could happen again.
“But it’s still scary the thought of a big boulder coming your way on your way to work,” she says.
TDOT wants drivers to be exceedingly careful over the coming days if you’re traveling this area of the Parkway. Be sure to:
- give yourself extra braking room
- do not drive distracted
- go the speed limit
- remember, there’s the risk of falling mud, rocks or debris
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office has been sharing alternate routes if you plan on driving to or from Maryville to Townsend; they suggest taking Old Walland Hiighway.