I-40 through the WNC mountains reopened Sunday evening

Sunday, April 25 — The stretch of Interstate 40 in Western North Carolina that has been closed by a rockslide since October will reopen today at 6 p.m., according to a press release today from the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Work will continue in the area through the summer as crews complete stabilization efforts – including the installation of rock bolts and anchor mesh – at five additional sites. Both eastbound lanes will be open; however, one westbound lane will be closed for about three miles for this work.

Truck restrictions have been put in place for that stretch of I-40 westbound. The restrictions are:
• Loads greater than 12 feet wide will be restricted from travel on the single westbound lane as long as work continues in the area. Wide loads traveling on I-40 West will continue to use the detour in place since the road was closed: take Exit 53B (I-240 West) in Asheville and follow I-240 West to Exit 4A (I-26 West). Follow I-26 West to I-81 South in Tennessee, back to I-40.

Traffic in the two eastbound lanes will adhere to normal weight/width restrictions.

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About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism.

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