Motorists traveling across Cowee Mountain are able to utilize all four lanes of traffic for the first time since the fall of 2019.
The slide of U.S. 441 on Cowee Mountain has been stabilized but while the road is completely open for motorists, the project won’t be finalized until the Spring when the remaining cracks visible on the surface will be repaired and sealed.
“Settlement of the reconstructed portion of roadway is expected to cause some cracking in the pavement for some time as drainage continues from the horizontal drains that have been recently installed” said David Uchiyama, spokesperson for the NCDOT. “In the spring, pressure grouting will begin early spring to fill any voids that are below the roadway, and then the final layer of asphalt will be placed to complete the project.”
The first phase of the project included significant drainage repairs and excavating about 18,000 cubic yards of earth material to build a soil-nail wall and maintain traffic in the two-lane pattern.
This second phase of the repairs was similar to building one side of a pyramid, by starting with a buttress of large stone at the bottom and working up, then with small stone. It included adding about 123,000 tons of shot-rock to build the buttress — which is about 50 percent complete — and an additional 105,000 tons of smaller stone to build the embankment.
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