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Safety repairs needed near Bridal Veil Falls; Traffic detouring to Buck Creek Road

HIGHLANDS – N.C. Department of Transportation crews will perform a difficult repair on U.S. 64 at Bridal Veil Falls in Macon County from March 29 to April 16.

The highway will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day and will operate in a one-lane pattern with a traffic signal overnight for the duration of the operation. The one-lane pattern will remain in place from April 2 to April 5 for Easter weekend.

“These repairs need to be made in order to secure the structural integrity of the road,” Division 14 Maintenance Engineer Wesley Grindstaff said. “It’s necessary to limit the possibility of long-term damage to the highway, and it’s necessary for the safety of visitors and residents in the area.”

Traffic will be detoured on Buck Creek Road when the road is closed. Drivers heading east from Franklin will turn left onto Buck Creek Road and follow it for 11 miles until the intersection with U.S. 64 east of Highlands. Drivers heading west from Highlands will take U.S. 64 east out of town and turn left onto Buck Creek Road. All drivers should factor extra time into their travels.

“We know this is inconvenient, but it is absolutely necessary,” Grindstaff said. “Choosing to close the highway at 9 a.m. instead of earlier each day provides benefits for people who commute in the morning.”

Heavy rains from Hurricane Zeta in October damaged the drainage pipe under U.S. 64 that carries water from the popular natural attraction under the highway and washed away material supporting the highway.

NCDOT crews will remove the broken pipe and install a new pipe under the roadway. They will also rebuild the slope below the road by building a new embankment one stone at a time. NCDOT officials have developed a plan with the U.S. Forest Service to limit impacts on the forest below the road.

“Rebuilding the slope will be very tedious work in very tight quarters,” Grindstaff said. “Instead of dumping stones, each stone will have to be passed from excavator to excavator one at a time. Crews will work as safely and efficiently as possible to have the road safely open to full capacity as soon as possible.”

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