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Water line serving 800 customers could be affected by Route 66-N repairs

Jeff Bobo • Mar 8, 2019 at 9:01 AM

ROGERSVILLE — State highway crews were working very close to a major water line Thursday making preventative repairs at two locations on Route 66-N near Rogersville where there’s evidence of an impending mudslide.

Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesman Mark Nagi told the Times News on Thursday he’s not anticipating a service interruption on that line, which serves more than 800 customers of the Lakeview Utility District.

However, LUD Director Tim Carwile told the Times News he is making preparations to reroute the water system operations just in case.

The two sections of affected highway are located on Stone Mountain less than a quarter-mile apart and are currently reduced to one lane of traffic.

One section is 1.3 miles north of the Choptack Road intersection, and the other is 1.5 miles north of Choptack Road.

Hawkins County EMA Director Gary Murrell told the Times-News on Thursday you can actually see one section from the other.

“It’s the same problem we’re having with all the roads due to the heavy rain,” Murrell said. “It’s not that the road is falling. It’s a weak spot in the ground, and all the moisture has caused some areas to be soft. And then the weight of the road and the earth around — it’s pushing out.

“But this is nothing like they’re dealing with on Route 66-N on Clinch Mountain. These are minor slides. You can’t see any slides on the road. You just see the crack and the dipping in the road. But TDOT is on it, and they’re trying to make it safe to keep those roads open.”

Nagi noted that the repair work being conducted on the highway at mile marker 20.3 will be on the same side of the road as the waterline.

“We don’t anticipate the excavation to be as deep as some of the other areas we have been working on,” Nagi said. “Therefore, the repair may not require any type of water disruption for the local citizens. Similar to the other locations, however, we won’t know exactly how deep the repair will need to be until we begin excavating and evaluating the material.”

Nagi added, “We have already made contact with Lakeview Utility and will continue to closely work with them regarding the repair for this particular location.”

As for the other location at mile maker 20.5, Nagi said TDOT is currently working there with a flagging operation to keep one lane open.

That repair is on the opposite side of the road from where the waterline is and isn’t expected to affect the line.

Mudslides have already caused water service disruption in Hawkins County.

On Feb. 28, a section of Highway 11-W west of Rogersville slid about four feet into Cherokee Lake and ruptured a 120-foot section of six-inch water line.

TEMA brought in emergency water to help affected residents, but a 400-foot section of line was replaced in less than a day.

Murrell noted that TEMA was going to take the emergency water back to Knoxville, but with the latest issue on Route 66-N, the agency is keeping it on pallets at the LUD office just in case.

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