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Rock wall repair requires U.S. 19/23 East closure in Haywood County

Eastbound detour starts Monday, westbound to remain open

CANTON – A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation will use an accelerated plan to replace the retaining wall on U.S. 19/23 in Haywood County damaged by Tropical Storm Fred.

The eastbound lane will be closed starting Monday from Canton to the Buncombe County line to expedite the wall repairs, which will take up to three weeks. Local traffic will have access to locations east of the construction area from Wiggins Road.

Eastbound drivers passing through Haywood County will be detoured onto Bridge Street, Champion Drive (N.C. 215) and Interstate 40. Drivers may then exit I-40 at Wiggins Road (Exit 37) to access U.S. 19/23 (Smoky Park Highway) and drive in either direction.

The westbound lane of U.S. 19/23 will remain open while the wall is replaced. Drivers should slow down and be alert for workers.

Crews from GeoStabilization International will build a soil-nail wall to replace the rock gravity retaining wall that fell onto the highway during the downpours of Aug. 17. The equipment and physical space required to construct the repairs necessitate closing the eastbound lane.

“This is one of more than 150 sites that need some sort of repair from Fred,” Division 14 Maintenance Engineer Wesley Grindstaff said. “Replacing the wall and reopening the highway is near the top of our priority list for safety as well as connecting Haywood and Buncombe counties.”

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