US 441 reopens after mudslides close road from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge on Tuesday

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WJHL) – A rockslide in East Tennessee had closed a highway running between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge on Tuesday.

The northbound highway was reopened just before 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park had announced that a mudslide occurred along the northbound lanes of the Spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Monday. The slide was located just past Westgate Resorts Road and covers approximately 100 feet of both northbound lanes.

Northbound traffic was detoured for approximately one mile at Westgate Resorts Road to Little Smoky Road before reentering the Spur from Beech Branch Road just before the tunnel. Large trucks and over-sized vehicles are being detoured east of Gatlinburg to Highway 321 to use alternate routes such as Highway 416. 

According to park officials, the mudslide contained an estimated 500 cubic yards of material in a pile approximately 100 feet in length and 70 feet high covering both lanes of the northbound Spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Staff estimate that the removal will require at least 45 dump truck loads of material to be hauled from the site.

Weather depending, the removal is expected to be complete by this evening. The park will provide updates if the closure is extended due to weather or slope instability. This is a developing story and we’ll continue to update the details as they become available.

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