Both westbound lanes of Interstate 40 between mile marker 20 and mile marker 15 will close between the Tennessee state line and the U.S. 276 interchange in North Carolina so emergency concrete repairs can be made to the bridge.
The closure starts at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18 and is expected to continue for up to five days, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT), and takes place along an area of I-40 with a history of rapid deterioration resulting in potential road hazards.
Repairs to the deteriorating concrete will be made ahead of Winter, which a crew will remove and replace old concrete to the over 50-year-old bridge.
Traffic will detour to I-26 into Tennessee, adding an additional 45 mins to travel time. While state officials and project engineers say the closure can last up to five days, it is said the project is estimated to take 48 hours to five days. The only way to make the repairs are to close the interstate.
Drivers heading West should take I-40 Exit 53B (I-240 West) for five miles to Exit 4A (I-26 West) and follow that for 74 miles, crossing into Tennessee. Then drivers can take Exit 8A for I-81 South and continue 57 miles to re-access I-40 near Dandridge, Tennessee.
Prior to the work starting Monday, crews closed the outside lane of the bridge heading east toward Asheville from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. starting Friday to complete repairs in that lane.