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Rockslide causes problems on I-75

Alternate route suggested for truck traffic avoiding I-75 closure near Jellico, TN. Additional detour alleviates congestion on U.S. 25E near Cumberland Gap Tunnel

By Ryan Watts

Frankfort, KY - Commercial motor vehicles traveling south on Interstate 75 from Cincinnati may want to use an alternate route to reach destinations in southeast Tennessee, Georgia or Florida--all due to a major rockslide that has closed portions of I-75 near Jellico, TN since Feb. 26.

As an alternate route, truck traffic may detour at I-71 south at Walton, KY to I-265 south (Gene Snyder Freeway) in Louisville. Drivers will then take I-65 south through Nashville and pick up I-40 east to Knoxville. They will then merge onto I-75 south near Knoxville.

Currently, all commercial vehicles and wide loads heading south on I-75 must detour at Exit 29 onto U.S. 25E in Corbin. At peak travel times, U.S. 25E becomes heavily congested with truck traffic. The additional detour will help alleviate some of that congestion through downtown Middlesboro and the Cumberland Gap Tunnel.

Standard vehicles traveling south on I-75 are encouraged to detour in Jellico at Exit 160 to U.S. 25W to SR 63, and then reenter I-75 south.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) was just awarded a $2.9 million emergency contract to repair the slide and remove the rock debris. TDOT anticipates opening both southbound lanes of I-75 in 14 days. One northbound lane is expected to open in three weeks. TDOT expects to have all lanes of I-75 open by April 15.

Motorist Detours (standard vehicles)

Motorists traveling I-75 South can take Exit 160 (Jellico) in Tennessee. Follow US 25W / SR 297 West to SR 63 South, and then re-enter I-75 South.

Motorists traveling I-75 North can take Exit 134 (Caryville/Lafollette) in Tennessee. Follow US 25W north to Lafollette, continuing to Jellico, and then re-enter I-75 North.

Wide-Load and Alternate Motorist Detours

Wide-load traffic traveling I-75 South can take Exit 29 (Corbin) in Kentucky. Follow US 25E into Tennessee, and enter I-81 at Exit 8 (Morristown/White Pine).

Wide-load traffic traveling I-75 North can take I-40 East to I-81 North Exit 8 (Morristown/White Pine). Follow US 25E, and enter I-75 at Exit 29 (Corbin) in Kentucky.

Alternate Truck Route: Take I-71 south at Walton, KY to I-265 south (Gene Snyder Freeway) in Louisville. Follow I-65 south through Nashville to pick up I-40 east to Knoxville. They will then merge onto I-75 south near Knoxville.

This story was posted on 2016-03-03 11:56:20
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