Press release from the N.C. Department of Transportation, shared March 21:

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation will close one lane of Interstate 40 West at Mile Marker 7 (Harmon Den) in Haywood County from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 8, weather permitting. The closure is necessary so that crews can perform a slope scaling operation.

To conduct the operation, crews will scale down in harnesses from the top of the slope and manually remove loose rocks with a scale bar, which is similar to a crow bar. This slope had rock catchment netting placed over it in 2010, and the scaling operation will enable the netting to work more effectively.

The work is part of NCDOT’s ongoing program to monitor slope activity in the Pigeon River Gorge and respond proactively to any changes.

The contractor for the $5,136 project is Ameritech Slope Constructors Inc. of Asheville.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit or follow NCDOT on Twitter at Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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