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NCDOT hopes to award landslide repair contract Friday

Still from drone footage shows landslide on N.C. 9 in Bat Cave. [NCDOT] Still from drone footage shows landslide on N.C. 9 in Bat Cave. [NCDOT]

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BAT CAVE – Additional analysis of a landslide on N.C. 9 in Henderson County by N.C. Department of Transportation engineers and geotechnical staff on Wednesday revealed new — and some obvious — information regarding the slide.

It is big.

“It’s similar to a slide this past winter on N.C. 28 in Graham County,” Division 14 Construction Engineer Ted Adams said. “Only, this slide is bigger. It goes all the way to the top of the mountain, and somewhere in between there is a 20-foot high sheer cut.”

Many other facts are buried in the rocks, dirt and trees that tumbled down the mountain in the early-morning hours on Tuesday.

It is impossible to estimate the volume of debris in the slide, how many thousands of tons of material will need to be removed, or how long the process will take.

Transportation officials scheduled an on-site meeting with potential contractors on Thursday and hoped to award a contract for the repairs on Friday. A better guestimate on the project timeline may be available next week. NCDOT geologists and the contractor will continue their analysis with photogrammetry and other tools to help develop a plan.

An early part of the plan will involve building a new road into the side of the mountain in order to move heavy equipment into position. It’s impossible to pass on the road and will remain so until the project is near completion.

“The only way to safely remove all of the material is to start at the top and work down,” Adams said. “If you started at the bottom, the top would come down on you.”

Click here to see drone video footage of the landslide.