Landslide congests Memorial Day traffic

6:24 PM, May 25, 2012   |    comments
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A massive landslide on Interstate 75 in Campbell County is expected to cause backups on this Memorial Day weekend.

"For a while we were dead stopped," said Donald Boyd, a tourist from Canada.

Boyd and his wife are traveling to Dollywood from Ontario. The delay added about an hour to their 800 mile trip.

"Four miles before they had the road blocked into a single lane it slowed down," he said.

The bumper to bumper traffic is the result of a landslide that subsequently caused the hill under the interstate to collapse in March.

TDOT re-opened one lane in each direction for three miles, from milemarker 141-144.

I-75 is one of the main routes to get to popular boating spot Norris Lake. The slowdown concerned the new owners of Norris Dam Marina. Memorial Day is their biggest weekend of the year.

"We are very concerned with the traffic. We have a lot of visitors from Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky," said Amy Bardo, Norris Dam Marina's owner.

The marina says many of those northern visitors have been calling and asking if they should still come.

"We have had people calling asking, 'How long is it going to take to get there with the traffic the way it is?' We've been telling them it may take a little extra time but it's going to be a beautiful weekend," she said.

The marina hopes they've calmed the visitors' fears because they say it would be a shame to miss this perfect Memorial Day weather.

TDOT is working to re-open another northbound in the coming weeks to ease some of the congestion.

TDOT has several detours available.

I-40 westbound remains down to one lane near the North Carolina line where crews are still cleaning up a rock slide. It was supposed to reopen Friday.

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