Why “No thru trucks to Tenn. over 10 tons on US 25-70”?

Westbound tractor-trailer rigs, detoured because of the I-40 rockslide at the North Carolina/Tennessee state line, are prohibited from taking the shorter detour on U.S. 25-70. Motorists encounter a portable emergency sign flashing through a series of messages: “No thru trucks … to Tenn over 10 tons … on US 25-70.” As a result, semis and heavy trucks must take I-26 over Sams Gap and join I-81 farther north than if they followed US 25-70.

The reason? An old bridge over the French Broad, classified as in poor condition and deteriorating.

Alongside the old bridge, work continues on its replacement.

WATE.com reported in December 2009 that traffic had doubled over the old bridge since the rockslide shut down a stretch of I-40.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) also says there have been some trucks crossing the bridge that shouldn’t be because they’re too big. They believe one truck even struck the bridge. …

TDOT says the bridge is in poor condition and it’s deteriorating. The problem is, it has a 10 ton weight limit, but there have been too many large trucks driving across it. …

Crews are building a new bridge. It’s expected to be complete by next spring. That’s when the current the 25/70 Bridge will close.

Link to story: http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?S=11542044

photos by Susan Hutchinson


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

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. Follow me @fobes

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

18 thoughts on “Why “No thru trucks to Tenn. over 10 tons on US 25-70”?

  1. That looks like a very narrow two lane through the high country. Chances are a loaded truck above ten tons, would have trouble. That may have something to do with the notice.

  2. bobaloo

    Correct DD, it is very narrow, and at places terribly curvy. Some switchbacks would cause the trucks to take up both lanes. Tractor trailers should be prohibited at all times.

  3. Piffy!

    And to think, all those important plastic trinkets may be delayed for a few hours on their way to wal mart.

  4. bobaloo

    There are some manufacturing plants in Newport, in addition to an actual community that, as we all do, rely on trucking for supplies.

    While I40 is being repaired I can understand the temptation as it adds 90 minutes (more or less) to go from 26 to 81 to 40 as opposed to going through Hot Springs and Newport. Having had truckers in my family I understand that time literally is money.

    When 40 is open there really is no excuse. The switchbacks from Marshall to Hot Springs alone are unmanageable for big rigs. I couldn’t imagine meeting one on some parts of the road from HS to Newport.

  5. bobaloo

    You’ve got to be kidding. They actually drive that route? Holy crap. That’s worse than 25/70 by far.

  6. Cheshire

    Yikes. I’ve been over that bridge. It’s…not the most confidence-inspiring. Great architecture, but showing its age.

  7. travelah

    And to think, all those important plastic trinkets may be delayed for a few hours on their way to wal mart.

    What an incredibly ignorant statement.

  8. Becki

    I know it may just be my opinion, but I think until I-40 is reopened, they should not allow ANY big rigs (even under 10 TONS) through 25/70 to Newport……..UNLESS…they actually have to deliver to a business in-between Marshall and Newport. Whether they are empty or not, they usually take up half of the other lane on those switchback curves.

    As a former firefighter for Walnut VFD (outside of Marshall), i know for me that it was very hard to respond to calls (especially going through those switchback curves) when you are following a big rig.

    I have actually met big rigs as i was trying to drive over that old bridge. I had to stop dead still because there wasn’t enough room for me to pass him. I could literally feel the bridge bounce at times. While I hate passing cars on that bridge alone with it being so narrow, it’s 10x worse meeting a big rig.

    I have nothing against truckers. I have several truckers in my family, ncluding my brother. I know that time is money, but what is time and money if a trucker wrecks on 25/70 just because they wanted to save a little time?

    Like I said before, this is just my opinion.

  9. Jeff Fobes

    pff ?? and Travelah: The conversation so far is made up of positive contributions, with information about the roads, the bridge, truckers options and their concerns.

    As author of the initial post, I’d like to see the thread remain thoughtful and on topic, and will make an effort to do so.

  10. “I have nothing against truckers. I have several truckers in my family, ncluding my brother. I know that time is money, but what is time and money if a trucker wrecks on 25/70 just because they wanted to save a little time?”

    I have nothing against truckers either. Have several drivers in my extended family. None have ever had a bad accident.

    Trucking companies needs to downsize any trucks going on those roads, and not risk the lives of their drivers or anyone on that road if a run-a-way truck situation happens. Companies should be prepared to pay the extra time it takes to go a safer route like through Erwin. As costly or irritating as the extra time and money spent is….it’s a consequence of the lay of the land. Truckers and Trucking Companies can make it up when they hit the flatlands.

  11. travelah

    Jeff, here is some information for you that justifies my comment.
    Walmart delivers most of its goods through its own distribution system and that represents a tiny fraction of the trucking logistics system in this country and certainly through I-40. Shutting I-40 throws a serious delay into inventory management for many manufacturers who rely on distributors and suppliers on either side of the mountains. The re-routing of supplies in many cases can double the delivered freight costs of a wide range of products. The 1st and 2nd tier automotives in the area rely on various inventory management practices to keep inventories low i.e. push-pull, JIT etc. Other manufacturers intentionally keep stocks low to allow quick delivery and when supply routes are interrupted, they have to compensate by hunting for other suppliers, pay higher freight or keep higher inventory levels.
    The economic impact of this is quite extensive not only in delivery time adding several hours or even days depending on drivers and availability but on the local costs of holding inventory. None of this takes into account business interruptions, downtime and order changes.
    So, when somebody makes the suggestion that this event just delays the delivery of trinkets to Walmart, we are indeed dealing with an ignorant statement.

  12. Jeff Fobes

    Thanks, Travelah, for the additional information, which does add substance to your allegation that the trinket statement is ignorant.

    I’d rephrase to say the comment “shows ignorance,” and then proceed to substantiate my claim. But your added details are a big step in that direction — which takes the discussion back on track to being more respectful and thoughtful.

  13. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Well, my read on this one has to do with chronology and context, and here is my seemingly minority opinion.

    The comment by Pffff-??? stated: “And to think, all those important plastic trinkets may be delayed for a few hours on their way to wal mart.”

    Pfff’s statement preceded the addition of the bridge photos and later commentary that sorely disparaged him—but in light of how just about every topic is treated herein, I thought Pfff’s comment to the original small article was simply a bit of humor and a lot less objectionable than other comments regularly thrown about here with great humor and outright derision.

    Personally, I find it awfully hard to differentiate between the intent of “an incredibly ignorant statement” and “a comment that shows ignorance.”

    Fair is fair, and I think Pfff got the short end of this stick.

  14. Piffy!

    thanks betty!

    i was being totally serious, though. i am very concerned about those goods. America needs that stuff.

    sorry, jeff, for once again ruining the internet, and causing you to take this thread far more off course than my small, evil sentence about our consumer culture and the need to ship goods efficiently and effectively.

    In the future, i will stick to trolling like travelah so as to make your inetrnetting experience more full of name-calling and general holier-than-thou-dom.

  15. travelah

    Betty, there is no excuse for ignorance but the truth is he always gets the short end of the stick. Thats why he is such a charming young curmudgeon. Besides, he believes every word he writes.

  16. Jeff Fobes

    IMO, we’re veering off course. Please start a forum thread for whatever’s on your mind if it doesn’t have to do with the highway, the weight limit, or trucks/truckers.

  17. Piffy!

    gosh, i guess my joke scared all the informative posters away. its been days now before anyone posted a helpful, informative anecdote about trucks in wnc. i am deeply, deeply sorry, jeff.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.