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NCDOT awards contract to clear Bat Cave landslide

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BAT CAVE – Expediting the clearing of a giant landslide that has closed N.C. 9, the NCDOT awarded a contract on Monday to a Western North Carolina company that's aiming for a July 27 deadline.

The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a contract to Graham County Land Company on Monday for $1.49 million to clear the landslide. Crews may begin mobilizing equipment on Tuesday. The work includes building a dirt road up the mountain so crews can move heavy equipment into place to start excavation work. An estimated 110,000 cubic yards of debris will be hauled to a local site. That’s enough material to fill approximately 9,100 tandem-axle dump trucks.

Crews will remove all debris, restore drainage, replace guardrail, and repair the road. Additional improvements may be addressed with a supplemental contract agreement as needed. Per state law, the contact was awarded to the lowest qualified bidder.

The slide, which started 600-800 feet above the road, occurred in the early-morning hours of June 5 between Minihaha Drive and Old Fort Loop Road. Initial estimates had the road closed until Labor Day.

Gov. Roy Cooper visited the slide on Saturday evening.

“It’s important that it gets back open as quickly as possible,” Cooper said. “We know that there is about a 50-mile detour that people have to take.”

For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.