One northbound lane of Alcoa Highway will remain closed during repair work, TDOT has said.
Two huge boulders crashed onto the road Tuesday night.
TDOT says they expect to have an emergency contract by the middle of next week, with repair work beginning shortly thereafter.
They do expect the lane closure to affect traffic, especially during peak traveling hours. They are recommending travelers take one of the following alternate routes:
- Alcoa Highway to Pellissippi Parkway to Interstate 40.
- Alcoa Highway to John Sevier Highway to Chapman Highway to James White Parkway into Downtown Knoxville or Interstate 40.
The southbound lanes are not affected.
We should know by Wednesday afternoon how long a lane will be closed on Alcoa Highway, after two huge boulders crashed down onto the road Tuesday night.
TDOT geotechnical experts were sent to the scene of the rock slide to examine the boulders and determine whether the area is a hazard for drivers.
Mark Nagi, the Community Relations Officer, said the right northbound lane will remain closed until the site is secured.
The debris has been moved to the shoulder of the road. Nagi said experts need to determine whether they have to make repairs or add meshing as a precautionary measure.
Officials said the driver who was sent to the hospital had crashed into the median barricade. Originally TDOT reported rocks had fallen onto the vehicle.
A rock slide in that area shutdown the right lane from early March to mid April last year. The rocks broke through the protective mesh that was placed there after the last slide.
A rock slide just before 11:00 p.m. sent two large boulders crashing onto Aloca Highway south of UT Medical Center.
As of 11:30 p.m., both southbound lanes were open near the intersection of Alcoa Hwy. and Woodson Dr., but only one northbound lane was open as crews assessed the situation.
The rocks appeared to be confined to the shoulder of the road, and it was not immediately clear how the slide could affect the morning commute for the thousands of drivers who use the highway daily.
The slide caused one driver to have an accident, but no injuries were reported.
In March 2012, another rock slide on the same section of the highway kept one northbound lane closed for about a month while crews stabilized the slope nearby.