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April 19, 2014

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Crews remove rock from the outcropping below the Cliff Dwellers Inn on Monday. Photo by Jeff Eason




Originally published: 2012-10-25 09:53:00
Last modified: 2012-10-25 09:53:00

Widening project moves north

Jeff Eason

The N.C. Department of Transportation had construction crews working on the U.S. 321 widening project this week from the Scotchman to just past the traffic light beside Chetola Lake.

The crews were working on the rock outcropping along the highway and installing underground sewer and utility materials.

Traffic alongside the rock outcropping was shifted to one lane during the day on Monday.

Crews also brought in the massive steel and rubber mats that will be used to prevent flying debris during the blasting part of the project.

The town of Blowing Rock and the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce requested that the NCDOT work on this portion of the highway widening project sooner rather than later, according to John Aldridge with the chamber. The groups felt that by finishing the portion of the highway on the northern end of the widening project first, it would have less of an impact on the businesses of Blowing Rock.

The N.C. Department of Transportation reminds everyone to avoid the work zone area when blasting and clearing work is taking place. Precautions are put in place to prevent any rocks from leaving the blasting holes.

When lane closures are in effect, remember to watch for flaggers standing near the roadway and be prepared to stop.

A project hotline assists residents or travelers in the Blowing Rock area with specific questions about the road widening project. Call (828) 964-3260 to speak to an NCDOT representative during regular weekday business hours (8 a.m. until 5 p.m.).

For information or updates on the U.S. 321 road widening project, visit the project website ( http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/BlowingRock321/). Follow project progress on the website or via Twitter (see @NCDOT_EastMTN and #US321).

For real-time travel information on the project at any time, call 511, visit http://www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at http://www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter.

Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” 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.

 
For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.


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