I-40 Traffic Nightmare Awaits!
If you will be traveling over into North Carolina on Interstate 40…get ready for a traffic nightmare. TDOT put out a warning to Tennessee drivers on Thursday about a detour on Interstate 40 at the Tennessee-North Carolina line. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is replacing the bridge over Harmon Den Road at Exit 7 in Haywood County. Starting tomorrow, Saturday November 13th…traffic will be funneled into a one-lane pattern ahead of the bridge and the exit ramps at exit 7 will be used as a detour around the bridge. Drivers will then be put back on I-40 at Exit 7 on the east side of the bridge where traffic will return to normal. North Carolina Department of Transportation says they expect to have backups of at least 8 miles on interstate 40 in both directions. That would back traffic on the west side of the bridge all that way back into Tennessee near Waterville. TDOT is encouraging drivers going to the Asheville area to use I-81 to Interstate 26 as a detour. That will add an extra 45 minutes onto your drive time, but you would not be sitting in traffic backed up for 8 miles. The bridge replacement is being done to help reduce the possibility of animal accidents by encouraging animals to go underneath the interstate. That contruction is expected to last 6 months.
The I-81 to I-26 detour was used numerous years ago when I-40 was closed in North Carolina due to a rock slide.