LOWGAP — N.C. 89 in Lowgap was temporarily reopened to traffic late Friday afternoon by the state Department of Transportation as part of an ongoing curve-realignment project there.
Crews had closed the road on Monday to complete grading on each end of the new N.C. 89 curve project, lay fiber-optic lines and install a retaining wall on the lower end of the project to prevent erosion. The closure was scheduled to be in effect for 10 days so crews could work along a sharp curve about a mile south of the N.C. 18/89 intersection near the Virginia border.
It required a 40-mile detour.
However, a 60-foot-wide slope failure occurred along the new curve alignment, requiring crews to remove the debris and install rock bolts and netting to support the slope. These repairs will not affect traffic flow along the original N.C. 89 curve alignment, which allowed its temporary reopening.
Once the curve work and slope failure repairs are complete, crews will begin the final phase of the curve-realignment project. During this phase, they will lay asphalt, place road markings and tie in each end of the new alignment to N.C. 89 south of the N.C. 18/89 intersection .
This work will require an additional closure of N.C. 89, requiring travelers to take the 40-mile detour route around the project.
The quarter-mile curve is being realigned near the existing curve to improve safety. This curve has seen a high accident rate, especially for large trucks attempting to navigate the tighter section on the mountainous road.