published Monday, February 28th, 2011

Grundy’s State Route 108 reopens

The section of State Route 108 blocked by a 23,000-ton rock slide just over a week ago reopened Sunday, according to Tennessee Department of Transportation officials.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Flynn said the work went ahead of schedule.

“The road was opened to traffic late yesterday afternoon,” Flynn said in an e-mail on Monday.

Now, a separate contract will be let this week for work to apply a concrete cover to further stabilize the mountainside, and for final paving, striping and guardrail work, she said.

“Further lane closures will be necessary in the impacted area, but at least one lane of traffic will be maintained at all times while the work takes place,” she said.

The project should take about four to six weeks, she said.

The slide happened just after midnight on Feb. 20 about halfway between Viola and Altamont on Highway 108. Local and state officials say the slide site has been known for years in the area as “hanging rock” for its precarious perch above the first few curves as the road starts its descent down Viola Mountain, northwest of Altamont.

State geologists said last week that the entire bluff broke away from the mountainside. The largest rock in the slide weighed an estimated 2,000 tons, officials said.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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